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NZ Recreation Association Applauds Freshwater Rescue Plan

NZRA applauds Freshwater Rescue Plan

The New Zealand Recreation Association today expressed support for the intent and purpose of the Freshwater Rescue Plan.

The recreation industry is dependent on readily accessible clean waterways. Swimming is the second most popular form of active recreation for New Zealanders, with 30 per cent of the population going for a swim each year.

Fishing is the fifth most popular form of active recreation for New Zealanders, with 20 per cent of the population participating in that activity at least once every 12 months. Canoeing and kayaking have participation levels similar to football, tennis, netball or cricket.

NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie also highlighted the extent to which the recreation industry, active New Zealanders and tourists are dependent on readily accessible clean waterways.

“For individuals, recreation contributes to physical and mental wellbeing. It also fosters community cohesion and resilience,” Mr Leslie said.

“The market value of recreation and sport is estimated by Sport New Zealand to be at $5.2 billion, or nearly 3 per cent of GDP. The nation’s recreation values and opportunities are fundamental to the nation’s tourism industry. Approximately 50 per cent of international visitors to New Zealand participate in one form of outdoor recreation or another,” he said.

“For these reasons, it is important that New Zealanders can confidently recreate in and on accessible bodies of freshwater. Whether that be swimming, fishing or messing about in boats. The Freshwater Rescue Plan outlines some bold and ambitious steps. We applaud it.”


The New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) is the national association for those who work in the recreation industry, including aquatic facilities, parks and open spaces, community recreation and the great outdoors. Our members include policy makers, regional sports trusts, recreation planners, volunteer organisations, programme and event managers, researchers, private fitness and outdoor recreation providers, government employees and many others involved in the delivery of recreation in New Zealand.

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