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Auckland Council takes top prizes at New Zealand Park Awards

Published: 29 June 2020

Auckland Council leads the way in park management, winning two of the four national prizes at the New Zealand Park Awards.

“We are delighted to see the hard work of our teams recognised at a national level,” says Mark Bowater, Head of Parks Services.

“Having our world-class parks recognised with national awards is something all Aucklanders can be proud of”.

Centennial Park in the North Shore suburb of Campbells Bay took out the Healthy Park Award.

The judges commented that the 74-hectare park “ticked all the boxes as to what your ideal park should look like”.

“This award is a real reflection of the mahi (work) that the Parks Services team do with community groups in Campbells Bay,” says Mark Bowater.

Overseeing and empowering community involvement in predator control has played a key role in the management of Centennial Park and Mark Bowater acknowledges the collaboration with the Centennial Park Bush Society.

“They have been phenomenal in tree planting, predator control and restoring the water catchment area that runs through the park. This win is a tribute to their efforts as well.”

Centennial Park key facts:

  • One of Auckland’s biggest urban parks (just 5 hectares smaller than Auckland Domain and 10 hectares larger than Auckland Botanic Gardens
  • High community engagement with family a regular bush camp, pest control, beach cleanups school holiday activities and maintenance working bees
  • The bush camps provide opportunities for families to experience camping, nature walks, bug hunts, harakeke (flax) weaving, storytelling and more
  • Home to more than 35 different bird species
  • More than 175 species of native plants
  • Heritage sites including bunkers and a gum diggers hut.

Improving accessibility needs saw Manurewa’s Keith Park take out Playground of the Year.

Officially opened in February, it is Auckland’s first public playground designed around accessibility needs for disabled children

“We are absolutely delighted to see this inclusive playground win a national award. It is a huge acknowledgement to everyone involved,” says Mark Bowater.

The judges were impressed by the innovative approach used in designing the playground to connect the accessibility community.

The playground was designed and created by Auckland Council’s Community Facilities with many disability organisations providing key input throughout the process.

The NZ Park Awards were announced online because Covid-19 forced the cancellation of annual Green Pavlova conference this year. The 2020 awards will be presented in person at next year’s event.

Read more: Parks

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