New Zealand Recreation Association


The New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) is the ‘go-to’ organisation for recreation professionals.

Its membership is made up of more than 1,700 people working in a wide variety of roles across the entire sport and recreation sector. This includes recreation policy makers and people working for city, regional, and district councils, central government agencies, voluntary organisations, regional sports trusts and commercial leisure providers. Recreation planners, facility managers, programme and event managers, community arts leaders and others involved in the delivery of recreation in New Zealand are also well represented.

NZRA’s vision is to lead and build capability in the New Zealand recreation sector. This is achieved through professional development and standards and benchmarking services designed to develop individuals and organisations. NZRA is also committed to effective advocacy on behalf of the sector to affirm recognition of recreation and sport as essential public services.  

NZRA is a charitable body governed by a board of seven people. Its local networks and service delivery are governed by six regional committees, and advisory groups and sub committees have been established to support development and delivery of its programmes.

Professional development

NZRA delivers a range of conferences, seminars, workshops and study tours designed to share good practice, build knowledge and skills and facilitate relationship building.

NZRA has a strong interest in the New Zealand Qualifications Framework through its relationship with Skills Active, the industry training organisation (ITO) for recreation and sport, and the primary ITO for qualifications in the amenity horticulture and sports fields.

Other professional development services include an accreditation system, mentoring and internship programmes and an awards programme, to further capability development in the sector.

Find out about NZRA professional development and events here

Standards and benchmarking

NZRA facilitates the establishment and monitoring of industry standards, and offers benchmarking services to enhance the quality of experiences provided to New Zealand communities.

Standards and benchmarking programmes and services include Poolsafe, Yardstick, Aquatic Facilities Guidelines and the NZ Parks Categories and Levels of Service publication.


NZRA advocates on behalf of its members on issues that impact on delivery of recreation and sport. Advocacy topics include changes to legislation such as the Local Government Act and the Health and Safety Act, as well as raising awareness of the benefits of recreation and sport, sharing sport and recreation sector learnings from the Christchurch rebuild, and the importance of a sector-wide approach to workforce development.


New Zealand Recreation Association
23 Haining St
Te Aro
Wellington 6011

Phone: (04) 801 5598

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Date updated: 31 July 2014