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Leanne Stewart

Sport and Recreation Consultant  

I have worked in the Sport and Recreation sector for nearly 30 years. During that time, I have worked in regional sports trusts, national and regional sports organisations, local authorities and the corporate business sector.  Prior to Thrive Spaces and Places, I had four years at Sport Waikato as the Regional Facilities Advisor. 


Having worked across organisations both nationally and internationally, I have experience in strategic facility planning, needs assessments, business cases, feasibility studies, management, operations and funding, and have been involved in facilitating community-led initiatives and stakeholder collaboration.  While managing three reviews of the Waikato Regional Facilities Plan, I have worked alongside a number of local authorities, regional and national organisations to facilitate agreed strategic priorities for provision of spaces and places. 


I have been involved in several local community and regional working groups such as the Game On Trust, the driving force behind the new Gallagher Recreation Centre, a partnership between Waitomo District Council and Te Kuiti High School. In 2021 I was appointed as an Independent Board Member on Eastlink Community Hub in Hamilton, a journey towards establishment of the first community hub in Hamilton.   


My focus is planning for spaces and places that provide positive community benefits with outcomes for the wider community.  My ability to plan and manage projects, communicate and collaborate with community, key stakeholders and funders is well respected and is a key strength.  



Bachelor of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Lincoln University 

RPII LV2 Operational Play Inspector 

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