Three of Hastings District Council’s parks have again been awarded international Green Flag award, several of the 24 parks across New Zealand to receive the flags this year.

Cornwall Park, Flaxmere Park and Havelock North Village Green have all kept their prestigious status for a second year in a row, after receiving their first Green Flags in 2019.  Te Mata Park, which is owned and managed by the Te Mata Park Trust, also retained its Green Flag status.

The awards recognise parks and reserves across the world that provide high quality and innovative recreational experiences for their communities. There are 27 criteria against which they are judged, including management plans, community consultation and engagement processes, environmental and sustainability practices, horticultural management and succession planning, safety, and how accessible and welcoming they are to their communities. They are judged each year to ensure the parks are being consistently improved and meeting the needs of their communities.

“It is fantastic news,” Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said.  “A great deal of work by community volunteers and our parks teams goes into these beautiful parks and it is wonderful to have the results rewarded with this international award.”

In New Zealand, the judging is carried out on behalf of Green Flags International by Recreation Aotearoa.  Recreation Aotearoa parks and open spaces manager Annette Richards said, “This is about much more than winning an award. It’s about embarking on a continuous journey of improvement with all the people who work together to provide quality green spaces for our locals and our visitors to enjoy.”

The Green Flags UK website which established the benchmark for quality parks and recreational reserves across the world, states:

“Successful sites show that they manage a quality space with a clear idea of what they are trying to achieve, why, and who they seek to serve. Award applicants are judged against 27 different criteria and must submit their active management plan, showing that they understand:

  • the users – who they are, who they could be, what they want, how they are informed and involved
  • the site – what is special about its history, biodiversity, landscape, social and physical setting, and what it is trying to achieve; and
  • the management – that what is there is safe, in line with legislation and policy, well maintained, and that there are plans for the future

This flexible and useful management framework
is the key to the Green Flag Award, making it relevant to any green space.”

New Green Flags will be raised on the Hastings parks before Christmas.

It has been an amazing year of celebrating our community’s recreation spaces, said Mrs Hazlehurst.  “These Green Flags, which show that we are at the top of our game when it comes to managing these parks, come on top of Flaxmere winning New Zealand’s Most Active Park of the Year 2020 and, most recently, Hastings winning the Supreme Award in this year’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards.”

Photos by Simon Cartwright: Cornwall Park (top), Flaxmere Park (left), Havelock Village Green (right)

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