16 March 2018
The Green Flag will be flying over New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park for a fifth year this year.
The jewel in the crown of New Plymouth District Council parks was one of 18 across the country to make the grade for the international award in 2018.
The Green Flag is the international mark of a quality park or green space.
“This is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our Parks staff and reflects the pride they take in their work,” says NPDC Chief Operating Officer Kelvin Wright.
“It also shows how lucky we are that New Plymouth’s founders had the foresight to create such a fantastic and lasting asset back in 1876. We aim to keep it in good shape for future generations to enjoy.”
The park includes the TSB Bowl of Brooklands and the popular Brooklands Zoo, and is host to high-profile events such as this weekend’s WOMAD and the annual TSB Festival of Lights, as well as concerts by international stars.
Experts assess a park for a Green Flag award using eight criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, community involvement and providing a warm welcome.
The Green Flag Award scheme, piloted in New Zealand by the New Zealand Recreation Association, was launched in the United Kingdom in 1996 and flags fly over 1,700 sites across the UK, Republic of Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
“We know the significant contribution that public parks make to healthy lifestyles. If we want liveable cities and thriving communities, then we need to invest in these public spaces and ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, has access to quality parks and green spaces that are fit for purpose,” says Karl Nesbitt, Parks and Open Spaces Programme Manager at the New Zealand Recreation Association.
“When you visit a park and see the Green Flag flying, you know you are in one of the very best green spaces.”
NPDC Parks: Fast facts
• NPDC manages 1500 hectares of parks.
• The parks department employs 74 staff members.
• Pukekura Park won the vote to take out the “Mayfair” or top spot on the NZ version of Monopoly.
• Each year the park stages the TSB Festival of Lights which is attended by 125,000 over the summer months.
• Park staff use remote-controlled, hi-tech mowers for tricky areas.
• Currently parks have 49 playgrounds.
• There are seven skate parks.
• Parks staff mow 700 acres every 18 days.
• There are 67 sports fields including two first-class venues.