Our Board


Elected Member : AGM 2014 - AGM 2017

Mark Bowater is currently the Head of Parks Services for the Auckland Council, with a portfolio network of over 4,000 parks, and a unit of over 160 dedicated parks professionals. With over 20 years’ experience in parks and recreation management and senior leadership roles, he offers a strategic outlook combined with a proven track record of achievements that make a difference.

He is passionate about the role parks and open spaces play in urban liveability, and the significant contribution the wider recreation industry makes to the quality of our lifestyles in New Zealand. He is actively engaged in helping to raise industry standards, is a champion for green and sustainability outcomes, and promotes a collaborative and future-focused approach.

Mark has been a member of the New Zealand Recreation Association for over 17 years, and is an Accredited Recreation Professional (ARPro).


Elected Member : AGM 2015 - AGM 2018

Michele’s career in the recreation industry began 15 years ago when she was at Lincoln University and working as a park ranger’s assistant while studying.

For eight years, she has been at Opus International Consultants, where she wears two hats: Senior Consultant (Natural Environment & Recreation) and Work Group Manager (Environmental Services). She has played a leading role in building links between young recreation professionals and the broader recreation industry through her involvement with the Generate Network, which she chaired from 2011-2014.

An active member of NZRA, she is a passionate advocate of intergenerational dialogue and closer collaboration between the parks, recreation, conservation, sport and leisure industries.


Elected Member : AGM 2014 - AGM 2017

Alison Law has made many contributions to NZRA, having acted as a board member previously in 2010-2011. She is a former NZRA Aquatics Project Manager, and has been part of the PoolSafe Advisory Committee. She has also made a large contribution to the Wellington Regional Advisory board, serving as Wellington Chair from 2008-2011.

She has a long list of awards and achievements in the recreation industry, including running the Just Add Water Seminar, receiving the Paul Stewart Memorial Award at the 2008 NZRA National Conference, and H2O Xtream receiving the NZRA Outstanding Pool Award 2007 while under her management.

She is currently Parks and Recreation Manager for Kāpiti Coast District Council where she is responsible for swimming pools, parks and open spaces.


Appointed Member: March 2018

Born and bred in Northland, Brent graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Physical Education. He has been the Chief Executive at Sport Northland – one of the leading regional sports trusts in NZ – since 1999. Sport Northland’s core business is leading and supporting sport and recreation in Northland. Brent is experienced in governance, having held a variety of directorships since 1996, from a local level right through to national level. He was a board member of Sportnet NZ for 6 years and was a Director of Northland Rugby for 5 years, and is currently Deputy Chair of the Northland Foundation.

Brent’s many strengths led to him winning the Leadership Award at the 2016 Sport NZ Sport and Recreation Awards and the Mark Mitchell Memorial Award at the 2016 NZRA Awards.

He has been a keen member of NZRA for over 20 years and is passionate about encouraging more NZers to get off the couch and enjoy their leisure time through active recreation.


Appointed Member : February 2016 - February 2019

Sarah Beaman has been a recreation professional for 20 years. She first worked in the community recreation space with Harbour Sport, a regional sports trust. She then managed UniSports Centre for Sport Performance, which provided sport science services for high performance athletes.

Since 1997, Sarah has been self-employed at Strategic Reality Ltd. She provides consulting services to a range of industries, including the sport and recreation sector – mostly around strategic planning, business improvement, project management and reviews. She is also a Director of the NZ Business Excellence Foundation. Previously an avid cricketer, coach and administrator, Sarah has had her fair share of sporting experience.

These days the focus is on family where Sarah, her husband and four young sons enjoy running and cycling events together. And not a week goes by without parental taxi-driver commitments to rugby, soccer, judo, swimming, tennis, cricket, touch rugby...


Appointed Member : March 2018

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Elected Member : AGM 2016 - AGM 2019

Peter Fergusson has been involved in Governance roles spanning, in excess, of 14 years – that experience, combined with over 20 years’ in CEO roles provides a sound depth of knowledge.

Peter brings a mix of Commercial and Profit-for-Purpose experience to NZRA. His current role as CEO of YMCA Auckland has extended his sporting and recreation experience to the broader challenges of community recreation, facilities management, fitness and aquatics industries, early learning centres, children’s services, outdoor education and youth (future young leaders).

His commercial background is founded primarily in Franchising – within franchised businesses and as NCEO for the Franchise Association of New Zealand – giving a unique insight into a range of successful businesses, proven business models and infrastructures.

In addition – he has a personal passion for the disability sector – driven by the challenges faced by one of his children. Something that has had a profound impact on his views, drive for seamless inclusiveness and the contribution he strives to make.

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