2017 Chair Update

NZRA Xmas message from the Chair

2017 has been a busy and constructive year for the New Zealand Recreation Association.

From a governance perspective, it has been a year of strengthening the organisation, it’s capability, financial position, quality of governance through the Board, key stakeholder relationships, and service offering to the membership.

The NZRA Board has focussed on the stewardship and future well-being of NZRA, and delivery of outcomes from the Strategic Plan. The board has worked hard on a governance capability-building programme with Sport NZ, and has recently achieved the Sport NZ Governance Mark accreditation, only the second organisation in the country to achieve this. The Governance Mark, launched by Sport NZ in August last year, is an independently verified process that assesses the standard of governance in an organisation. There are currently more than 20 sport and recreation sector bodies working towards gaining the mark.

The NZRA Board are proud of this accomplishment and what it stands for – it is reflective of NZRA as an organisation; it means the board understands the strategic nature of its role, and it indicates that we are clear about how we intend to use our time and money and that we have a considered process for ongoing development and monitoring of our strategic plan. NZRA conducts its business within a clear ethical framework and we hold ourselves accountable to our members and stakeholders. We have been through a process of self-assessment, third-party review, governance development and reassessment to be awarded the Mark, and I want to thank the rest of the Board for their hard work throughout this process.

NZRA has successfully secured Sport NZ funding for the next three years to develop, deliver, provide and support a range of key recreation initiatives. This is a vote of confidence in NZRA as the peak body for active and outdoor recreation in NZ. This funding, alongside a greater focus on other sustainable and industry-relevant commercial activities, is continuing to strengthen NZRA’s financial position and resilience as an organisation.

The adoption of Regional Guidelines has provided clarity and support to NZRA’s six regional committees, defining responsibilities, policies and procedures. Key stakeholder relationships have been strengthened with the adoption of a MOU with the Generate Network, and a partnership agreement with Parks and Leisure Australia.

NZRA’s key events, particularly professional development focussed conferences, continue to grow from strength to strength, and the November Recreation Conference in New Plymouth was very successful in helping to enable a skilled, connected, and future focussed recreation workforce.

2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for NZRA, with more challenges, new initiatives, and a continual focus on improvement.

Two appointed NZRA Board members have stepped down at the end of 2017. Annie Dignan and John Brimble have both been significant contributors over the last few years, and I would like to thank them both, along with the rest of the Board for their commitment and dedication to the sector.

I would also like to extend a big thank you to the Chief Executive Andrew Leslie and all the NZRA staff for their ongoing passion and desire to deliver the best possible service to the organisational membership. They are a truly exceptional team.

Christmas is just around the corner. For my part I’m looking forward to time with family and friends, as well as some paddle-boarding and mountain biking, and enjoying our country’s amazing outdoor recreational experiences.

Best wishes for your Christmas and New Year, and have a well-earned holiday break.

Regards

Mark Bowater

NZRA Chair

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