Recreation Awards

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.


Applications for the 2021 Recreation Awards are now open! This year the awards will be presented alongside the Outdoor Awards at Recreation Conference in Blenheim on Thursday 18 November 2021.

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

Applications close Friday 10 September 2021 and can be made through our new awards website! On the website you will find detail about each award and how to apply. This year we are looking for applications for the following:

Outstanding Awards

  • Outstanding Project
  • Outstanding Pool
  • Outstanding Event
  • Outstanding Park
  • Outstanding Recreation Facility
  • Outstanding Research, Policy & Planning
  • Outstanding Community Recreation Programme

Individual Awards

  • Emerging Recreation Leader of the Year
  • Ian Galloway Memorial Cup
  • Paul Stuart Memorial Award
  • Mark Mitchell Memorial Trophy

We know that there has been some amazing stuff happening over the last year and these awards are an opportunity to showcase what you and/or your community have been working on. So, what are you waiting for? Start you applications now!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Deadline for applications is 5pm, Friday 10 September 2021



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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