The Steering Committee

Watene Hema - Co-chair

Recreation Aotearoa Canterbury Committee Member
Christchurch, New Zealand

Having a strong interest in Sport and Exercise, Watene has studied a Physical Activity degree at Otago University and has several years’ experience in the Recreation sector.

Initially working at Sport Waikato for 6 years, Watene is now based in Ōtautahi where he works for Christchurch City Council as a Community Recreation Advisor. In this role Watene helps community groups, clubs and organisations drive recreation in their local communities.

Joining Generate in late 2017, Watene believes that in order to improve exercise outcomes and experiences that we need to work in a multi-disciplinary capacity and those in the parks and recreation sector play a huge role in this. Working as part of Generate Watene hope to identify stronger links between parks and recreation to physical activity outcomes, in order to help people get out there and enjoy their local parks, walks and recreation opportunities. Alongside this, Watene really enjoys the connections he has been able to make through Generate NZ and the wider Recreation Aotearoa whānau.

Being passionate about all things activity wise, Watene is a keen golfer, moderate runner and enjoys hiking trails in his home area of Te Manahuna/Mackenzie Country.

Elise Yule - Co-chair

Recreation Aotearoa Midlands Committee Co-chair
Napier, New Zealand

Growing up on a farm in the sunny Hawkes Bay Elise spent her youth immersed in a variety of sports. Following school, a hockey scholarship guided her to Lincoln University where she studied Sport and Recreation Management before gaining a Masters of Applied Science in Parks and Recreation Management.

She began her career on a graduate programme with Auckland Council in their Parks Team where she first joined the Generate Committee. She then took up a sport and recreation role with Napier City Council. Between roles Elise has spent time travelling Europe and experiencing life in the UK. She is currently based back in Napier with Xyst as an Open Space and Recreation Consultant. On the side, she is Co-chair of the Recreation Aotearoa Midlands Committee and she also guides secondary school students on multi-day hikes in the Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges to assist them towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards.

Elise has a passion for open space, sport and recreation and thrives off work that positively benefits the community, environment and the next generation. In her spare time she plays hockey, enjoys keeping active, socialising with family and friends and loves exploring new places off the beaten track.

Cassie Horton - Steering Committee Member

Recreation Aotearoa Otago Southland Committee Member
Invercargill, New Zealand

Cassie is a Parks and Recreation Planner with the Invercargill City Council which involves variety and involvement with many interesting projects based around Parks, Cemeteries and Open Spaces.

Cassie is keen to develop further in the organisation and is always willing to learn and experience something new which keeps her passion in the industry. She is relied upon within the team for her knowledge on the Reserves Act, Management Plans and in developing and implementing strategic documentation and projects.

As a professional in the recreation industry, Cassie is deeply committed to supporting emergent leaders, and is an active member of the Steering Group of Generate NZ. Projects she has been involved in to help up & coming professionals develop their careers further include scholarships with Xyst and Generate NZ and with Recreation Aotearoa to develop mentoring resources (Tuakana-Teina) for Generate NZ and Recreation Aotearoa members.

Cassie's hobbies include trail running, mountain biking and spending time with her family.

Rebecca Stokes - Steering Committee Member

Christchurch, New Zealand

Many family holidays and outdoor trips early on in life sparked Rebecca’s love for the outdoors with water-based activities taking top spot.

After many positive experiences, Rebecca continued with this love and completed a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation at AUT while finding a passion for teaching. Hoping to match the love for recreation and the outdoors with teaching – this led Rebecca to work at a summer camp in Massachusetts leading fishing, canoeing and paddleboarding. Then returning to New Zealand to complete a Graduate Diploma in Secondary teaching.

The wonderful world of teaching has taken Rebecca to Wellington as a PE, Health, and Outdoor Ed teacher and now to Christchurch where she works with Sport Canterbury to contribute to the Healthy Active Learning Kaupapa.


The Sport and Recreation sectors have played large roles in Rebecca’s life and she is very excited to be part of Generate NZ and give back to the sectors that have given her so many amazing opportunities.

Brittany White - Steering Committee Member

Whangārei, New Zealand

From an early age, Brittany recognised the role that physical activity and the environment play in enhancing wellbeing and quality of life - this is a significant driver for her. Brittany is currently working at Sport Northland and has a key role in coordinating the implementation of Northland’s regional strategy for play, active recreation and sport; Kōkiri ai te Waka Hourua. Brittany started her career on the Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa Graduate Programme, which allowed her to develop broad skill-set and unique perspective of the sport and recreation sector through her graduate placements in government, national and regional organisations. Joining the Generate NZ Steering Committee at the end of 2020, Brittany has enjoyed the connections she has gained from being part of the network, and the opportunity to further develop her governance skills.

Prior to starting her career, Brittany completed a Bachelor of Physical Education with Honours in Physical Activity and Health, and a Master of Science in Sport, Exercise and Health at the University of Otago.

Outside of work, Brittany spends time keeping active, checking out the beautiful beaches of Tai Tokerau, and socialising with friends.

Jason Husband - Steering Committee Member

Auckland, New Zealand

A graduate from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Physical Education, sport and recreation has shaped who Jason is today. Following a Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching, Jason spent the first 2 years of his career working as a PE Teacher before being drawn overseas with stints in Canada and the UK. Returning to NZ at the height of the pandemic in 2020, Jason took up a new opportunity with CLM Community Sport as part of the Healthy Active Learning kaupapa.

Sport and recreation has an important role to play in improving young people's lives and Jason feels privileged to work alongside both tamariki and rangitahi in his everyday mahi. Being part of Generate NZ creates an exciting amount of reach and opportunity – and Jason is stoked to be part of the Steering Committee.

Yvaan Hapuku-Lambert - Steering Committee Member

Auckland, New Zealand

Hailing from Hastings, Hawkes Bay, Yvaan has always been drawn to sport and recreation from a very young age. As he got older, he began to enjoy giving back to his community through coaching his former intermediate and primary school sport teams, supporting the next generation of tamariki and rangatahi.

He is passionate about creating meaningful and quality experiences for all tamariki and rangatahi through play, active recreation and sport. Yvaan’s experiences growing up led to him completing a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation with a Double Major in Health and Physical Education and Coaching at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

Currently Yvaan is an aspiring leader in the Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa Graduate Programme, recently starting the first of two placements in 2022 with both New Zealand Rugby League and in local government. Yvaan is excited about being a part of the Generate NZ Steering Committee and looks forward to continually building his connections with the Generate whānau and the sector.

Tina Weston - Steering Committee Member

Christchurch, New Zealand

Tina has studied for a Bachelor of Environment Policy and Planning at Lincoln University. Whilst studying she found her passion for Parks and Outdoor Recreation which she then majored in. This passion has led her to work at Thrive Spaces and Places as their Open Spaces Planner based in Christchurch.

Tina is excited to be on the steering committee to help foster relationships, grow opportunities and gain more experience across the Parks and Recreation sector.

Outside of work hours, Tina is an avid walker and a novice gardener, an area where there is a lot of growth potential.

Chris Barron - Steering Committee Member

Auckland, New Zealand

Chris studied a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation and a Master of Business in Sport Leadership and Management at Auckland University of Technology and has spent several years working in the sector. Sport and recreation is a lifelong passion of Chris’s - through playing, volunteering, and working in the industry.   

With a particular love of golf, Chris currently works at Golf New Zealand as the National Funding and Sponsorship Coordinator and is committed to helping foster positive sport and recreation experiences for the community.

Chris is excited to be a part of the Generate NZ Steering Committee and looks forward to helping continue to foster a connected, vibrant sport and recreation industry and workplace.

When not at work, you will find Chris on the golf course, watching sports (especially rugby and cricket), on the piano, or spending time with family and friends.  

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