Recreation Co-ordinator Kaiwhakarite Hākinakina

Recreation co-ordinators plan and run community leisure, before and after-school and sport programmes at venues such as recreation centres, parks, clubs and schools.

Recreation co-ordinators may do some or all of the following:

  • plan and co-ordinate recreation programmes and events, social sports, competitions, and before-school, after-school and school holiday programmes
  • work with the community to design and develop recreation projects
  • prepare budgets and write reports and proposals
  • hire, train and supervise volunteers and staff
  • advise councils and commissions on recreation planning and policies
  • advise and assist community groups to develop recreation programmes and events.

Physical Requirements

Recreation co-ordinators need to have a good level of physical fitness and must be strong enough to move equipment.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for recreation co-ordinators includes:

  • teaching
  • coaching a sport
  • involvement in recreational activities or hobbies
  • an interest or participation in sport.

Personal Qualities

Recreation co-ordinators need to be:

  • enthusiastic and patient
  • mature and responsible
  • good communicators
  • good leaders and able to motivate others
  • able to get on with a wide range of people
  • well organised, with planning and project management skills
  • able to work well under pressure to meet deadlines.


Recreation co-ordinators need to have:

  • knowledge of different leisure, sports and recreation activities
  • knowledge of hazard management, and health and safety planning skills
  • a love of recreation and sport
  • budgeting, business management and marketing skills.


Recreation co-ordinators:

  • may work regular office hours, mornings or evenings, or weekends at events
  • work in offices, churches, community halls or at sports grounds
  • travel to different recreation centres, sports fields, schools and marae.

Recreation Co-ordinators can earn around $47K-$57K per year.

Pay for recreation co-ordinators varies depending on qualifications, experience, responsibilities and where they work.

  • New sports co-ordinators working in schools usually earn between minimum wage and $54,000 a year.
  • Experienced sports co-ordinators with additional responsibilities can from $54,000 to $70,000.
  • New recreation co-ordinators working at councils, universities or polytechnics usually earn between minimum wage and $57,000.
  • Senior recreation co-ordinators and programme managers can earn from $60,000 to $83,000.

Recreation co-ordinators employed on a casual basis usually earn between minimum wage and $30 an hour.

Sources: NZEI Te Rui Roa and E tū, 'Support Staff in Schools' Collective Agreement', 2018; Victoria University 'General Staff Collective Agreement', 2018.

Recreation co-ordinators may progress to set up their own out of school programmes or buy into out of school care franchises, or move into events or facility management roles.

Recreation co-ordinators can also progress into recreation policy planning or community development adviser roles in local government.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a recreation co-ordinator. However, a certificate or diploma in leisure studies, physical education, sports administration or community recreation may be useful. Many local governments prefer recreation co-ordinators to have a Bachelor's degree.

Most employers prefer you to have a driver's licence and First Aid Certificate.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children. 

Recreation Co-ordinator