The prestigious award, which comes with a $20,000 grant for professional development, was announced at last night’s New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards held in Auckland.
In presenting the award, Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin said Matt Reid is an innovative, inspirational and bold leader who has leveraged the power of sport and recreation to drive improved social outcomes across his community.
“Matt’s work in Lower Hutt over the last seven years has been a great example of how sport and recreation can be used as a tool to tackle community wellbeing issues,” he said.
“His work has shown how a local council can use sport and recreation to change lives, particularly for tamariki and rangatahi in the city’s North East. He has built a highly motivated and passionate team who are doing amazing things for their community.”
Matt Reid has been with Hutt City Council for seven years, most recently as General Manager of City and Community Services.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says Reid has been a key driver of Council’s Integrated Facilities Strategy, which has seen new community hubs built in Taita and Stokes Valley and development of the new Ricoh Sports Centre (home of Fraser Park Sportsville), and also oversaw the project to develop the new Naenae Bowls Centre.
“The two community hubs have become the beating heart of their diverse communities and are attracting more than double the number of people who used the facilities they’ve replaced. Fraser Park Sportsville and the Naenae Bowls Centre are great examples of new and innovative approaches to providing sports facilities for a community. They’ve been driven through a community partnership lens with significant local input which has seen the community take great ownership of the facilities. Matt’s leadership has been key to these Council projects coming to fruition,” Mayor Wallace said.
Reid has also been a key driver of Council’s social development work through the Empowering Tamariki programme, which aims to improve the lives of tamariki in the North East by giving them access to some of the key things that could impact their long term outcomes, such as sport and rec programmes, music and arts, cultural groups and computer clubhouses. He is also chair of both Te Awakairangi Access Trust and YOUth Inspire, as well as being a director on the Boards of Barnardos and Healthy Families Lower Hutt, and instigated the Hutt Community Facilities Trust which has played a key role in raising funds for some of Council’s large-scale initiatives.