2020 New Zealand Parks Awards
Amidst a global pandemic Recreation Aotearoa were thrilled to announce the 2020 New Zealand Parks Award winners. Usually held at the Green Pavlova Conference, Recreation Aotearoa opted to make the announcement in online awards ceremony. You can watch the announcement here.
The New Zealand Parks Awards are one way in which Recreation Aotearoa recognises the work and innovations of our parks and open spaces.
"Parks have been paramount in conserving our wellbeing, particularly over the lockdown period, and the Awards are one way in which we can honour them in that vital role," says Recreation Aotearoa Parks and Open Spaces Manager, Karl Nesbitt. "We were blown away by the calibre of the nominations and think our communities should be proud of the incredible spaces we have available."
2020 Active Park of the Year
Active Park of the Year went to Hastings District Council, Flaxmere Park. Flaxmere Park showed the power of engaging with your community to plan and deliver an open space that caters to all.
The park is used by fitness enthusiasts, event-goers and families alike with an outdoor stage for community events, exercise equipment, a nine-hole disc golf course, a playground and a 5km asphalt track.
The judges were impressed with the range of physical and social opportunities at the park and the community input which went into the park's development.
2020 Playground of the Year
Auckland Council's Keith Park was awarded Playground of the Year. Located in South Auckland, Keith Park underwent an impressive upgrade in 2019 to develop a more accessible and inclusive playground for children with disabilities.
The playground has a wheelchair accessible carousel, a net see-saw, an accessible basket swing, and plenty of sensory play opportunities; just to name a few of the playground's features.
Auckland Council's innovative approach to developing new ways of connecting to the accessible community captivated the judges. One judge commented "the amount of work carefully and thoughtfully managed by the passionate project manager has ensured engagement across all interested stakeholders and resulted in a playground designed entirely by and for those with accessibility needs and sensory disabilities."
2020 Healthy Park of the Year
Auckland Council's Centennial Park in the North Shore took away the 2020 Healthy Park of the Year Award.
Centennial Park sees high community engagement with a regular bush camp, pest control, beach cleanups school holiday activities and maintenance working bees. Overseeing and empowering community involvement in predator control has played a key role in the management of Centennial Park.
This 74 hectare park ticked all the boxes as to what your ideal park should look like.
2020 Parks Week Marketing Award
Gisborne District Council (GDC) took away the 2020 Parks Week Marketing Award this year after showing innovation and flair in their Parks Week programme.
GDC partnered with Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti, Te Puawaitanga o Ruatoria Trust and Recreational Services to hold a pop-up play event at Te Puawaitanga Park in Ruatoria, which included activities and a free barbecue, and showcased new play equipment at the park.
Whaia Titirangi - a holistic partnership between GDC and Ngati Oneone to care for Titirangi/Kaiti Hill - held a rongoa (Maori medicine) workshop with a focus on the benefits of eco-sourcing seed stock supported by the Women's Native Tree Project.
Other events were held during the week, including a workshop on looking after irises at their Green Flag Award-winning Gisborne Botanical Gardens.
Recreation Aotearoa were impressed by GDC's enthusiasm for Parks Week which shone through their marketing where their team went above and beyond to get the message across.