Parks Awards 2024: Announcing the winners

The first award of the evening was ‘Healthy Park of the Year’. This award celebrates parks that actively contribute to community wellbeing. Five finalists were named in the category:

  • Costelow Park, in Invercargill 
  • Ōtari Native Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve, in Wellington 
  • Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park 
  • Recloaking Mauao, in Tauranga 
  • Te Rauone Reserve, in Dunedin

Bay of Plenty Regional Council received a Merit Award for Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park while Tauranga City Council for ‘Recloaking Mauao’ – the restoration and preservation of one of the region’s most popular landmarks, Mauao / Mount Maunganui.

The ‘Active Park / Sportsground of the Year’ award recognises adventure parks and sportsgrounds that foster an active lifestyle. Five finalists were named in the category:

  • Centennial Park, in Te Awamutu 
  • Donnelly Park, in Levin 
  • Foster Park, in Rolleston 
  • Korikori Park, in Hamilton 
  • Stratford Bike Park

Stratford District Council was awarded a Merit Award for Stratford Bike Park in this category, while Foster Park, the largest sports and recreation park in the Selwyn District, was named the winner on the night. 

Two new awards celebrating our dynamic play spaces across Aotearoa were introduced. Three finalists were named in the ‘Playspace of the Year (within $500,000)’ award:

  • Havelock Domain, in Havelock 
  • Island Bay Reserve, in Western Bay of Plenty 
  • Russell Square, in Invercargill

Western Bay of Plenty’s Island Bay Reserve at Waihi Beach was named the winner of the ‘Playspace of the Year (within $500,000)’ award.

Six finalists were named in the Playground of the Year (over $500,000) category:

  • Cplay Caroline Bay Reserve, in Timaru 
  • David Lange Park Playground, in Mangere 
  • Magical Bridge Playground, in Hamilton 
  • Memorial Park, in Palmerston North 
  • St. Leonard’s Playground, in Hastings 
  • Te Kapua Park Papa Playground, in Turangi

Te Kapua Park Papa Tākaro, designed by Taupō District Council and Ngāti Tūrangitukua, and Magical Bridge Playground, designed by Hamilton City Council and Magical Bridge Trust, each received Merit Awards. Cplay Caroline Bay Playground, designed in collaboration with the CPlay Committee, mana whenua and the Timaru District Council, was announced the winner. 

The final award for the evening was ‘Parks Person of the Year’.  This award recognises a person who demonstrates outstanding effort to forward public parks through good management, sustainability, and innovation.

Four finalists were named in this category:

  • Anita Small 
  • Brett Latimer 
  • Evan Hicks 
  • Josh Clark

Josh Clark from Tauranga City Council was awarded Parks Person of the Year. 

Congratulations to all Parks Awards finalists and winners!