New Zealand Recreation Industry Awarded

The 2018 Recreation Award winners represent the quality recreation opportunities available in New Zealand.

We believe recreation creates great New Zealanders. People who are healthy and well connected to their communities and the environment grow up with the opportunity to pursue their dreams and make lasting contributions to society. The recreation industry encompasses the people, places and organisations that enable these experiences to occur and the NZRA Recreation Awards honour the people who are integral to making New Zealand a world leader in recreation.

The winner of Outstanding Event 2018 was the Anchor AIMS Games. Tauranga City Council worked in partnership with the AIMS Games Trust and Sport Bay of Plenty to bring the largest international sporting event for 11-13 year olds in the southern hemisphere to Tauranga.

The YMCA North Shore Recreation Centre were awarded Outstanding Facility 2018. Established in 1973 as a recreation centre, the facility now services the needs of kids, families and the local community with a 40 x 30m indoor stadium, two basketball courts, a fully equipped and serviced fitness centre, group exercise studio, community rooms, squash courts and a physiotherapy centre specialising in knee rehabilitation.

Outstanding Park 2018 was a hotly contested category, with the judges awarding a merit to Mauao Historic Reserve - the most popular natural fitness and leisure park visited in the Bay of Plenty. The winner in this category was Anderson Park Playground - Napier City Council with Boffa Miskell

Centrally located within one of Napier's premier suburban parks, this destination park for all ages and abilities comprises structures for climbing and sliding, flying foxes, swings, water play, functional artwork with messages in braille and interactive elements, including a xylophone, musical bridge and drums.

The winner of Outstanding Pool 2018 was Huntly Aquatic Centre, ran by Belgravia Leisure. It is a relatively small pool, yet 8% of the whole community is enrolled in their learn to swim programme.

The award for Outstanding Community Recreation Programme 2018 went to the Citycare Group for their Connect the Community initiative. This was a partnership set up with the Student Volunteer Army after the Christchurch earthquakes to help with clean ups, planting and mulching and it has developed into an active volunteer support and engagement approach. The judges awarded a merit in this category to Hutt City Council for their Kiwisport Fundamental Movement Skills programme.

Outstanding Project 2018 went to Tauranga City Council for Kopurererua Valley. Tauranga's huge 364 hectare inner-city park development project has seen a previously toxic, overgrown, weedy valley turned into an outstanding natural environment. This has been achieved in partnership with tangata whenua in an urban setting alongside cultural, community, historical and recreational values. The merit in this category was awarded to Tairāwhiti Connext Charitable Trust for their Bikes in Schools initiative.

There were two merits given for Outstanding Research, Planning and Policy 2018; for the Scott Point Sustainable Sports Park Masterplan and the MacLean Park Refresh: Community Engagement Project.

The winner was Auckland Council for Low Carbon Parks: Developing a Carbon Inventory for a Sports Park. This was a piece of research undertaken in-house by Auckland Council, considering what impact parks can play in tackling climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising public awareness.

Mark Hammond of Kāpiti Coast District Council was named Emerging Recreation Leader for 2018. Mark has been working in the recreation sector for the past five years at a local government level and demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities in the work he carries out.

The Paul Stuart Memorial Award was given to Mark Blake. His colleague that nominated him said "Those of us who have had the opportunity to work directly for Mark understand the impact, passion and energy he brings to the job. On the outside Mark may appear driven by achieving great financial results but even a cursory look will show the impact he has in driving dozens of community-based programs that ensure our society is a better place to live."

Jane Aickin was the recipient of the Ian Galloway Memorial Cup, this marks the first time a woman has been awarded the cup. Jane's 27-year career in the parks sector has involved working for multiple organisations in multiple roles. She has led significant achievements in Auckland's parks and played an active role in many industry-related organisations. Jane has contributed much to the industry at Governance and voluntary levels and is a generous mentor of her time and knowledge to colleagues and young people in the sector in general.

There are two recipients of the NZRA 2018 fellowship this year, Mark Bowater from Auckland City Council and Joe Griffin from CLM.

Mark has had a career in the parks sector spanning 33 years, often leading and managing large teams in a complex political environment. He has led significant change processes, creating positive team cultures and developing potential through mentoring and coaching.

Mark holds a Diploma in Horticulture, National Certificate in Sports Turf, Certificate in Supervisory Management and two National Certificates for Tree Surgery. He is recognised by NZRA as an accredited recreation professional in New Zealand and has this been recognised as an Infrastructure Sustainability Accredited professional by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia.

Mark has been a member of NZRA for nearly 20 years and has held a number of both committee and governance roles. He is leading the way to strengthen partnerships and co-governance programme management and sustainability in Auckland.

Joe has been working in the recreation industry for 36 years and is greatly admired and looked up to by all who have worked with him, met him and heard of him. His knowledge skills and abilities in facility management have been repeatedly demonstrated both nationally and internationally and his advice and opinions are frequently sought on recreation facility matters.

Joe holds a BA majoring in Psychology and Education and a Diploma in Community Development. He has been a member of NZRA since its inception and a member of its antecedent recreation organisations and played an active role for the Auckland/Northern Region for a number of years.

Joe has always been a great believer in effective facility management and the need to get people in the door to really see what is on offer. Arguably the father of competitive facility management in New Zealand and co-founder of CLM.

The NZRA Recreation Awards were presented at an awards dinner held in Auckland during Recreation Conference 2018. A full list of award winners is available here.

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