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 04 527 2113 | 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  04 527 2113

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.

Emily Morris

Recreation Programmes Coordinator 021 349 589 I 04 527 2113

Emily has just recently joined Upper Hutt City Council after working with the YMCA for the last 6 years. Emily has a mixed role here at the council, from planning and executing buggy walks as well as GOLD events, she also facilitates Play with Mel, and organizes and runs the H2O holiday programmes. Emily has a 2.5 year old called Theo who keeps her very busy. She is originally from Wales and has travelled a fair bit. Emily enjoys being active, tramping, exploring new places and snowboarding!

Teresa Shailer

Recreation Advisor - Schools and Clubs 021 278 2134 I 04 527 2113

Not quite a local but residing in the Greater Wellington region, Teresa is proud to be working as part of the Upper Hutt community where she can live out her passion for improving physical activity participation and community health and wellbeing. Teresa’s life outside of work consists of volunteering in her community, where in 2021 she assisted in the redevelopment of a Women’s football league after it had an 18-year hiatus. Alongside sports, she also volunteers for a charitable trust Camp Quality, where she has been lucky enough to have been involved for 12 years. In Teresa’s downtime, she is out on her road bike, mountain bike, walking some trails, or lifting some weights.

Melissa Pepler

 Play Advisor027 532 2121 04 527 2113

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.