Recreational Services – Creating Exceptional Spaces

August 18, 2021

Recreational Services

Creating Exceptional Spaces


Business View Oceania interviews senior representatives of Recreational Services for our focus on Facilities Management in New Zealand

The Recreational Services team is dedicated to creating exceptional spaces of all kinds in New Zealand’s parks, reserves, sports fields and recreational grounds and facilities. Founded in 1992, Recreational Services has grown over the last three decades from a staff numbering just six to nearly 600, making it the largest company of its kind in the country. Formed to fill industry gaps surrounding quality, innovation and company culture, Recreational Services takes an all-encompassing approach to horticulture and facilities management that ensures every client receives word-class, professional care.

Recreational Services provides a full range of horticultural and facilities management services across New Zealand. This includes sports turf maintenance, sports parks construction and renovations, agronomic and environmental consultancy, general horticulture, mowing and vegetation control, fixed assets maintenance and management, playground and facilities maintenance and management, cemetery services, and graffiti removal. Recreational Services are also involved in the undertaking and management of various developmental, design and renewal projects across park area paths and tracks, walls, fences, bridges, bollards and chain gates, skate parks and playgrounds, storm-water ponds, and mitigation plantations.

Brett Turner, Managing Director

Senior representatives Cameron Parr (CEO), Brett Turner (Managing Director) and Carla Reinke (Tender and Marketing Coordinator) share their knowledge surrounding the company’s ethos, current management, and future goals.

CEO of Recreational Services, Parr provides his insight into how different divisions of the company work together to maintain continuously high rates of success. “Our operational teams are spread across 13 local councils throughout New Zealand, and we do 95% of everything ourselves. We do everything within the park that you could think of apart from specialist activities; when you walk through the park, we do everything in that space. We’ve got close to 2000 pieces of equipment out there every single day to maintain our grounds. We only subcontract specialists for unrelated work, such as electricians or plumbers. Alongside our operations teams, we also have projects teams for our redevelopment work, our Auckland headquarters team, and a Sports Service Design Management team.”

The Sports Service Design Management team at Recreational Services had the fantastic opportunity to design Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand. The first fully enclosed field stadium in the world, the stadium was officially opened in 2011, and has since hosted a plethora of events from international sports extravaganzas to local concerts and schooling activities. The Sports Service Design Management team is now fortunate enough to be the designers for the new Christchurch Stadium, which is set to open in 2024.

Recreational Services fosters core values that continue to align with their original family business model despite an enormous increase in staff. Parr elaborates, “We have pillars of professionalism, ownership, knowledge, and people, and we work every day to make sure that we stay true to those. It doesn’t matter whether the company is a team of six or 600, we must stay true to that. We absolutely do what we say, we are always looking at how we can add value back to our clients, and we’re professional with everything that we do. We do things right, and if for some reason we don’t do it right the first time, we fix it.”

Cameron Parr, CEO

A huge part of working culture at Recreational Services is the company’s commitment to building positive relationships. Honesty and transparency are always top priorities on the agenda, and the company maintains a strong focus on retaining long-term clients and contracts, some of which go back nearly two decades. The same goes for Recreational Services staff, as  Turner shares. “We are absolutely passionate about what we do. Parks and open spaces are our passion, and this is why our staff stick with us as well. We have a great team that really understands that we are about providing the service, and yes, the profit margin follows, but it’s just a box. Our people are special people. And we take great pride in having long, deepening partnerships with clients, staff, and our suppliers as well.”

Recreational Services finds positive business relationships to be vital from a marketing point of view. Every client, whether it is a local sports field or large district council, is treated with equal world-class care. A hands-on approach to marketing has served the company well and continues to support its positive reputation, Parr explains. “We believe that our people are our best marketers What we do every day and how we conduct themselves is what makes us stand out from our competitors. We don’t do a lot of branding or formal marketing. We are the humble company that just likes to go about our business and do the best job that we can. And the results speak for themselves.”

Community support is another key responsibility taken on by Recreational Services. Their community outreach ventures currently include supporting the New Zealand Blue Light Foundation and Not For Me Charitable Trust on a national scale, providing BBQ truck and marquee hire for community events, taking part in sports club and community sponsorships, and supporting environmental clean-ups, community planting, and projects, clubs and fundraisers across the country.

Another way Recreational Services gives back to their community is through their continued support of New Zealand’s youth and those seeking employment. The company is continuously striving to introduce their passion for the industry to up-and-coming generations and provide rewarding apprenticeships and traineeships for the unemployed.

Husqvarna 435X AWD Robotic Lawn Mower

Recreational Services is no stranger to the importance of sustainability and is in a unique position to lead other companies towards a brighter, more environmentally conscious future, Parr explains. “Recreational Services is very passionate about sustainability. We are putting a lot of time and energy into understanding deeply how we can reduce our carbon footprint, and we’re leading the way in regards to electric equipment. We are the first company in New Zealand to bring in fully electric ride on lawnmowers. We are also conscious about reducing our use of chemicals and being smart with our water usage.”

Looking to the future, Recreational Services aims to continue implementing more sustainable practices in their own backyard, expand their reach across New Zealand, and lead other companies and organisations towards proper sustainability, technological innovation and best practice. Recreational Services will keep putting their best foot forward in order to do so.

Turner finishes with a resounding statement. “It’s all about the relationships and the partnerships that have gotten us to where we are today, and the transparency and trust we foster as a company. All businesses should look it this way; you don’t have anything unless you have good people. It’s as simple as that.”

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Recreational Services

What: Recreational Services is a Facilities Management provider that services parks, reserves and recreational grounds across New Zealand.

Where: Headquarters are located in Auckland, New Zealand.



Integrity1 –

Integrity1 offers a unique consultancy service focused on payroll. All of Integrity1’s employees have come from either a payroll, HR, or Payroll and HR systems background. They are able to offer a full end to end consultancy experience covering everything payroll related. Recruitment, Audits, Remediation, System and payroll process reviews and a full end to end managed outsourced solution called their Virtual Payroll Office (VPO). VPO covers Payroll Management, Strategy, Processing, ongoing audits and compliance monitoring. This is the only full end to end payroll outsourced solution in New Zealand. Integrity1 also work with multiple Australian clients and have experience around EBA’s and Modern Awards.

Integrity1 were engaged by Recreational Services to audit and review their payroll systems and processes. Recreational Services employee over 600 staff and wanted to re look at the best and most efficient ways of engaging and remunerating their employees in a cost-effective manner. Integrity 1 completed an audit and study of Recreational Services end to end processes as well as the software solutions they were using.

Following the audit and review Integrity1 recommended various improvements to their processes as well as alternative payroll and HR solutions that would better suit the needs of both the employee and employer. Workshops were held where the benefits and costs of each solution were worked through.

Once a preferred solution was identified further workshops were held to plan the implementation, testing, communications plans and integrations into Recreational Services other systems. Recreational Services are transitioning from a legacy solution to a cloud based modern HRIS solution that will enhance employee engagement and communications as well as bring cost and time savings to the business with integrated rostering, costings, employee self-service, HR and fully integrated payroll. The solution will as further phases are implemented integrate into other Recreational Services solutions to bring more efficiencies and cost reductions and improved management of the organisation. Recreational Services have also decided to move their payroll into Integrity1’s VPO solution to ensure the investment they have made into their payroll and employees is maintained with the expertise that Recreational Services could not develop in house.

The unique advantages of partnering with Integrity1 is their ability to deliver a full end to end solution. They utilise Integrity1’s expertise at the relevant time for the relevant job, e.g. Audit expert, Compliance expert, Data specialist, Implementation consultants, experienced payroll testers and administrators and Payroll strategic management, which creates a seamless and significantly risk reduced journey with a single trusted supplier/partner.

To take your payroll journey contact Integrity1.

Northland Cleaning Supplies –

Northland Cleaning Supplies have been leaders in their field since 1988, with cleaning products and equipment as the main driver behind the business. Customers trust Northland Cleaning Supplies to provide the highest quality products for their company. We have always sourced the latest technology equipment and cleaning accessories to keep our clients up to date with the best products on the market today.

With clients in all industries, we provide Toilet Paper, Rubbish bags, Lunchroom Supplies, Cleaning and Hygiene Products with a continuing emphasis on providing environmentally friendly products. As the industry develops and the public become more aware of Cleaning and Hygiene, Northland Cleaning Supplies have been focused on providing where possible products which are environmentally friendly and breakdown in natural circumstances without harming the environment.
Northland Cleaning Supplies have been partners with Recreational Services for many years, our partnership has created trust and understanding of their company and what is required to keep them leaders in their field. Congratulations Recreational Services on your continued success throughout the industry. Northland Cleaning Supplies supports you.

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