Recreation Awards

We've made the difficult decision not to run the Recreation Awards in 2020.

Following the announcement that Recreation Conference will take place online this year, we discussed holding the awards online.

The Recreation Awards are an opportunity for us to honour Aotearoa's top recreational providers and advocates and it was felt that holding the awards online would not be an adequate celebration of our 2020 award winners.

Nevertheless, we still want to showcase the incredible achievements within the New Zealand recreation industry and celebrate the mahi of our members - look out for more news on this in the coming months.

The Recreation Awards will be back in 2021!

The Recreation Awards recognise excellence, innovation, and effectiveness of outstanding activity within the recreation sector as well as the achievement and service of individuals whose commitment and contribution promotes the ongoing development and enhancement of the industry.

These prestigious awards have been held annually since 1991, recognising individuals, organisations, programmes, and facilities that have made exceptional contributions to improving recreation and sport for New Zealanders.


The 2019 Recreation Awards were presented on 28 November during the Awards Dinner at Recreation Conference, which was in Hamilton 27-29 November.

A full list of 2019 award winners is available below:

  • Outstanding Project Winners - Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub, Christchurch City Council & Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery, Palmerston North City Council & Community
    Merit - Waterworld Hamilton Marjor Renewals Project 2018, Hamilton City Council; Taiora: QEII Recreation & Sports Centre, Christchurch City Council; Te Auanga/Oakley Creek, Auckland Council & Boffa Miskell; Wanaka Pool, Queenstown Lakes District Council

  • Outstanding Park Winner - Shakespear Regional Park, Auckland Council
    Merit - Ahimate Reserve, Palmerston North City Council & Ohakune Carrot Adventure Park, Ruapehu District Council

  • Outstanding Event Winner - Ara Mai! Te Whiti Rise Night Walk, Hutt City Council

  • Outstanding Community Recreation Programme Winner - Ka whakatipū i te whenua ka ora tatou - Cultivate the land and give life to the people, Auckland Teaching Garden Trust & Auckland Council
    Merit - This is Me® Programme, Sport Waikato; AroOra, Community Leisure Management & Playing Palmy Programme, Heather Knox

  • Outstanding Pool Winner - Lido Aquatic Centre, Community Leisure Management

  • Outstanding Research, Policy & Planning Winner - Hamilton City Council's Play Strategy 2019-2030, Hamilton City Council
  • Paul Stuart Memorial Award - Kirsty Knowles, Community Leisure Management

  • Ian Galloway Cup - Mark Bowater, Auckland Council

  • Emerging Recreation Leader - Hannah Chapman-Carr, Auckland Council

  • Mark Mitchell Memorial Trophy - Steve Gibling, University of Canterbury

  • Fellowship Recipients - Jane Aickin (ARPro), Auckland Council & Fay Freeman, Fay Freeman Associates

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