News | 8 April 2022
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Inclusive Leisure Card wins community recreation award

The Council’s Leisure Card programme has taken out the Outstanding Community Recreation Programme Award at the Recreation Aotearoa awards.

A hand holding a small shinny yellow card with the word 'LeisureCard' on it as well as simple smiley face heart illustration.

The award recognises the work done by Wellington City Council to make recreation and physical activity accessible for everyone in Wellington.

Through the programme Wellington City Council partners with over 30 community organisations to enable and support nearly 3000 Leisure Card members to get active and improve their quality of life.

Leisure Card members get discounted access to Council's facilities, Wellington Zoo and Zealandia, as well as access to support, advice and opportunities to get active.

Leisure Card opportunities have included fully subsidised Women’s Only Swimming Lessons sponsored by Z Energy, access to clothing and equipment through the City Mission Community Sports Bank, free days at the Zoo for former refugee families supported by Change Makers, a whānau pool party with the Salvation Army, and a Leisure Card team competing in the Nuku Ora Round the Bays supported by Spectrum Health and D-Sport.

'Making sure no one misses out'

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, who is a strong advocate for the programme says, the Council is delighted to receive this award.

“It reflects the hard work of a number of Council officers and partner organisations who have been dedicated to make this programme better and more inclusive for all Wellingtonians. At its heart the Leisure Card is about ensuring universal and equitable access to sport and recreation – making sure no one misses out.

“As the programme has evolved over the last two years, it has become less of a Wellington City Council programme and more of a community-led programme, developed with, for and by the communities it seeks to empower and support,” Councillor Fitzsimons says.

Parks, Sport and Recreation Manager Paul Andrews says the Leisure Card programme is a great example of how councils can partner with other organisations to meaningfully impact the lives of communities in need.

“While most councils provide discounts or concessions for community services card holders, we are not aware of anyone else who has taken a similar partnership-centric approach that responds to the range of barriers to accessing recreation, not just cost.”

The Leisure Card programme aligns with the Council's Open Space and Recreation Strategy which seeks to get everyone active and healthy, with a focus on equity and universal access, improving the quality of life of Wellingtonians and working in partnership.

It also aligns more broadly with Wellington city’s vision to create a connected, accessible city and to support social connections and wellbeing of residents.

How the Leisure Card scheme works?

The Leisure Card gives members:

  • a 50% discount on casual entry to Wellington City Council swimming pools and recreation centres
  • a 20% discount to recreation centre programmes, swimming lessons with SwimWell, and Club Active gym memberships and casual classes.

The card is automatically available to you if you are receiving support through one of our Leisure Card partner organisations.


You can also apply for a Leisure Card yourself if you have a valid Community Services Card or if you are living with a permanent disability or long-term illness.