About our Activation team


The Activation Team works with clubs, active recreation providers, community groups and individuals to develop and support physical activity in the city and implement the active recreation plan.

Find out more about the Activation team below:

Brent Hayward

Team Leader 04 5272148 | 027 213 7583

Brent joined the Activation team in June 2020. Originally from Taranaki, Brent went on to study Recreation Management (Sport Major) at Lincoln University. After graduating, he moved to Wellington to study marketing management at Massey University and in 2005 became the Club Development Officer at Victoria University. In 2011 he moved to Sydney and for 5 years was the Competition Manager for Athletics NSW. His most recent role prior to joining the team here, was that of Centre Manager of the YMCA fitness and recreation centre in Ellerslie, Auckland. Brent brings a depth of experience to the team and is passionate about sports, in particular cricket, rugby, basketball and golf. A key focus for Brent is to continue to grow and develop as a leader and as a collaborative team, deliver an outstanding service for the Upper Hutt community.

Cat Hamlin

Recreation Advisor - Community  04 5272148

Cat is a born and raised Upper Hutt local and has a background in Youth Development and Community Sport. Cat loves playing and coaching in Upper Hutt Hockey Club, hiking and being outdoors with her dog.

After finishing high school, Cat worked in Upper Hutt with youth in not-for-profit organisations including Kickstart Youth Centre as a Senior Youth Worker before relocating to Porirua to be a Youth Coordinator for the Shift Foundation. At Shift, Cat worked with young women and improving their overall wellbeing. In 2018 she started at Wellington Hockey as the Community Development Officer. In this role, Cat combined her love for hockey and helping people to create programmes that introduced people to sport as a place to learn, get fit and belong. Cat started at Activation in January 2021 and is excited to be back in Upper Hutt facilitating wellbeing opportunities in her local community.

Tom Pere

Recreation Advisor - Schools and Clubs  04 5272148

Tom joined the Activation team in December 2020. He is of Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu and Kai Tahu descent but was born and bred in the Hutt. Tom attended HIBS and Wellington College then went on to study Health Science (Sport and Exercise major) at Massey University achieving a bachelor’s degree in 2012 and later a postgraduate diploma in 2016. Tom has worked in various roles across the health and recreation sectors, most recently being a part of the Healthy Families Hutt Valley team as a Systems Innovator. Outside of work Tom is a big sports fanatic and you’ll likely find him either playing, coaching, or supporting around our local sports grounds. He is looking forward to working in the Upper Hutt community where he is now raising his family and hopes to help others find the same passion he has for sports and recreation.

Melissa Pepler

 Play Advisor 04 5272148

Delighted to be part of the Activation Team, Melissa is excited to engage with the community in developing, implementing and facilitating Play Programmes. Melissa’s formal qualifications include a Post Graduate Diploma in Sport and Leisure Studies; a Bachelor of Sport Science and Coaching; and a Certificate in Out of School Care and Recreation. Seeing first-hand the incredible impact active recreation, sport, movement, dance and play has on a child’s development, Melissa’s career has spanned over 20 years working with organisations such as Sport Wellington Region; Special Olympics New Zealand; YMCA Greater Wellington Region; and Jumping Beans. Melissa resides in Upper Hutt and enjoys leading an active lifestyle with her husband and children.