The news that Hastings’ three premier parks have again been awarded international Green Flags is “fantastic”, says Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst.
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, owned and managed by the Te Mata Park Trust, also retained its Green Flag status.
The 24 parks across New Zealand to receive the flags this year were announced November 30th.
“It is fantastic news,” Mrs 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.”
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.
In New Zealand, judging is carried out on behalf of Green Flags International by Recreation Aotearoa. Recreation Aotearoa parks and open spaces manager Annette Richards said the awards set a benchmark for green spaces. “But 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.”
New Green Flags will be raised on the Hastings parks before Christmas.f
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.
“I am very proud of our communities for their strong input into our parks, our staff who are so passionate about looking after our parks, and our councillors who recognise the value of parks to our communities and put in the resources required to achieve this level of quality.”