Recreation Awards

Our Recreation Awards celebrate the people, places. programmes and projects that are enhancing people’s wellbeing through recreation. 

Award categories


Four workers with high vis vests on and hard hats walk around logs that have been pushed into the ground

Outstanding Project

This award is for an outstanding project that is the successful development or major redevelopment of a strategy or facility. Facilities can include pools, parks, or recreation facilities.





A group of people exercise outdoors with the copy overlaid 'Outstanding event'

Outstanding Event

This award is for an outstanding recreation festival or event. 






Four young girls sit on a pool inflatable with the copy overlaid 'Outstanding Pool'

Outstanding Pool

This award is for an outstanding facility where the principal purpose of the built structure is aquatic recreation. 

Please note: The facility must have current Poolsafe status. 





A group of children walk across a play fort, one is in a wheelchair

Outstanding Park

This award is for an outstanding natural environment that may or may not have built structures within it. 

Please note: This award relates to the park as a whole rather than individual components such as a playground or particular garden.




Children play under a rainbow parachute with the copy 'Outstanding Recreation Facility'

Outstanding Recreation Facility

This award is for an outstanding facility where the principal purpose is land-based dry recreation.

Please note: The facility must accommodate people with disabilities and mobility issues.





A group of women stand in a garden gathering food with the copy 'Outstanding Community Recreation Programme'

Outstanding Community Recreation Programme

This award is for an outstanding recreation programme that has operated for a minimum of two years. The programme needs to reflect significant community involvement in the planning and delivery and clearly achieve a community development outcome.





Two women cycle along the top of the Port Hills in Christchurch

Emerging Recreation Leader of the Year

We are looking for people whose leadership and commitment to professional development and innovation is exemplary.

The nominee should be under 30 years of age OR have been working in the recreation sector for less than 5 years. Candidates not meeting these criteria may be eligible for one of the other individual awards. 




An image of a skatepark with the copy Ian Galloway Memorial Cup

Ian Galloway Memorial Cup

This award recognises excellence and outstanding personal contribution to the wider parks sector.

It celebrates the innovative and pioneering contribution made to parks management by Ian Galloway, particularly during his time in Wellington City in the 1950s and 1960s. 




An image of a basketball court with the copy Paul Stuart Memorial Award

Paul Stuart Memorial Award

This award recognises excellence and outstanding personal contribution to the wider facility management sector.

It was first presented in 1995 and remembers Paul Stuart for his outstanding contribution to the sector.




Two young people hike with the copy Mark Mitchell Memorial TrophyMark Mitchell Memorial Trophy

This award recognises excellence and outstanding personal contribution to the wider recreation industry.

It honours the outstanding contribution made by Mark Mitchell to the recreation industry.





A lady stands on a snowy mountain along with the title 'Recreation Aotearoa Fellowship Award'Recreation Aotearoa Fellowship Award

This award recognises Recreation Aotearoa members who are regarded as having made a significant contribution to the purpose, aims and work of Recreation Aotearoa. This award calls for an outstanding and sustained contribution.





How to apply

Tips and tricks to help you with your award nomination.

Award Terms and Conditions

By entering these awards, you have an opportunity to showcase what you have been working on, give your communities the opportunity to share their successes with others and convince the powers that be that ongoing commitment to and investment in recreation is both necessary and justified for healthy, engaged, sustainable communities and will help them achieve the wellbeing outcomes sought by Government.

There is no restriction on who can make a nomination. For example, they could be from a Council, Regional Sports Trust, community group/Trust, consultant or contractor involved with the initiative. Just make sure it addresses all the judging criteria, and work on the basis that the judges know nothing about your nominated initiative other than what they read in the nomination, so be clear and concise in your description.

Note: The Recreation Aotearoa judging panel reserves the right to change the category the nomination is to be considered under at their discretion.

The individual Recreation Awards recognise excellence, innovation, effectiveness, and outstanding activity within the recreation industry by individuals whose commitment and contribution promotes the ongoing development and enhancement of the industry. They are not recognition for a single event or activity, or for contribution over a specific period or simply as part of regular employment.

By nominating an individual for one of these awards you are giving them an opportunity to have their efforts recognised by the whole the industry not just those who have had the opportunity to working with them.

Winners will NOT be notified in advance of the Awards ceremony so please encourage those nominated to attend.

All nominations are to be made electronically. No hard copies will be required or accepted.

Nominations will be promoted through social media. Images of all nominations will be displayed at Recreation Conference and the Awards’ dinner and may be displayed on the Recreation Aotearoa website. Winning and highly commended nominations will be displayed on the Recreation Aotearoa website.