November 3, 2009: Having spent three days with the New Zealand Recreation Association in Hastings, Hawkes Bay this week, I have some observations to share.

Polticians Chris Tremain NZMP and Lawrence Yule – Mayor of Hastings hugely impressive opening speeches – they actually get sport and recreation!

A conference floor buzzing with positivity and a ‘can do’ attitude.

A conference programme balanced with exciting study tours, quality presentations, excellent catering, conference organistion and venue – the Hawke’s Bay Opera House.

A conference awards ceremony and dinner where 100% of the delegates hit the dancefloor and stay at the social event all night and into the small hours.

We in the UK have a lot to learn from our Kiwi peers. They walk the talk and it’s been an absolute privilege spending ths week with Brendon Ward and this fabulous group of recreation professionals.