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 021 142 6539

Geoff Canham

Principal Parks and Recreation Specialist
Co-Director of Thrive Spaces and Places

I have contributed for over 40 years in the parks and recreation agency/ private sector and local government parks and recreation fields within New Zealand, and internationally.  My main experiences and skills have involved parks and recreation leadership, planning, indigenous people’s process design, expert evidence, community engagement, business consulting for agencies, coordinating design processes, statutory reviews, strategy and project management. I've been a specialist consultant since 2006 after a public service career spanning five local authorities in the parks/ environment/ recreation facilities portfolio field, with four of those agencies being in New Zealand, including eight years with Tauranga City Council as Parks and Leisure infrastructure Manager.  

In terms of some international highlights, I was thrilled to be an official guest of the U.S State Department of Agriculture for presentations in Washington DC, and latterly in Canberra as an official guest of the Australian Federal Government, both on ‘co-design with indigenous peoples’ on subject matter to effect joint environmental outcomes. It was an honour to represent New Zealand and sign the National Park Cities international Charter launch in London in 2019. It has also been an honour to contribute over 15 Conference presentations in New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S, with over 10 articles published on sector issues. Within New Zealand, my career highlights have included working with Tangata Whenua on co-decision process design and project work and assisting the Minister of Conservation and working with the Mana Whenua Panel on Stewardship Land recommendations.


The planet can use all the help it can get. To be a positive part at the root of all things, I’m delighted to contribute volunteering energy to the Waiariki Park Region initiative and to co-chair the Bay of Plenty Envirohub Board. I also convene the New Zealand Parks Leaders Forum. I am the recipient of the Ian Galloway Memorial Cup for Excellence and Outstanding Contribution to the Wider Parks Industry and have been admitted as a Recreation Aotearoa Fellow in 2022, as well as being the recipient of two NZRA industry awards. My approach to work is to leave things better than I found them and that every day needs to be better than yesterday, as often as possible! I believe collaboration plays to our strengths best as a species, and we are at our best when we make choices out of hope, not fear.      



National Diploma in Horticulture (Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture) 

Diploma of Horticulture (Massey University) 

NEBSM, Telford College, Edinburgh 


Industry Accreditation 

Accredited Recreation Professional, Recreation Aotearoa (ARPro) 

Certified Parks Professional International, World Urban Parks (CPPI) 

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