Andrew Leslie

Andrew Leslie

Chief Executive, Recreation Aotearoa, New Zealand

Andrew joined the NZ Recreation Association (NZRA) as Chief Executive in October 2011. His career in the recreation and sport sector was fostered within Local Government, delivering community recreation programmes and events. Prior to commencing his current role Andrew spent 4 years with Tourism NZ managing the i-SITE Visitor Centre Network.

In his role as Chief Executive Andrew is responsible for championing high quality recreation for the benefit of New Zealand. NZRA's vision is that in 2020 New Zealand has a strong recreation industry that meets the needs of current and future participants, so that through recreation, New Zealanders are active, healthy, and connected.


Re-imagining Aquatic Facilities

Why do we build public swimming pools? And when we ask ourselves that question do we put the environment at the centre of our decision making? This year I am on a journey to better understand engagement with the environment from the perspective of Māori and non-Māori. When we develop a new aquatic facility we'll design towards well-being outcomes for people. But what if the well-being of the natural environment was our primary focus? If our environment benefits then the benefits to us as humans are significant. Decision making frameworks such as Atua Matua and Te Whetu Rehua are shifting thinking in the New Zealand recreation sector. Awareness of traditional Māori environmental science and the importance of connection with culture is evolving. What would happen if we applied these frameworks to a facility development process? Join me for a theoretical thought experiment that utilises Māori and non-Māori expertise to design a public swimming pool that first and foremost puts nature at the heart of everything.

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What our Delegates are Saying

"I'm going to seek new ideas and learn from experience of other projects to constantly improve the way we manage our parks and open space . I'm looking forward to learning more around Parks & Open Space, Healthy Active Play and Trees and Gardens"

Jacqui, Manager City Reserves, City of Albany (WA)

"I love to listen, learn, share and spend time with likeminded and inspirational colleagues who are transforming the world park by park, facility by facility, program by program. I am looking forward to seeing Kia Dowell and Katie Sarah. I love being inspired and challenged to make a difference and grow as a leader and contributor to our industry".

Carly, Team Leader Recreation Planning, City of Casey (VIC)

"It is important to keep abreast of latest industry trends, best practice case studies and the valuable networking opportunities. I am looking forward to hearing from Jack Kardys regarding the evolving role of parks - driving health, happiness and economic prosperity".

Matt, Manager Active Communities, City of Holdfast Bay

"I can't wait to meet new people and catch up with old friends at PLA2019. I haven't been to Perth for many years and I'm looking forward to seeing the beautiful parks"

Neil, Parks Planner, Parks Victoria

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