The Auckland Council managed park is the only southern hemisphere park to be recognised in this year’s awards.
Ambury joined Chicago’s Millenium Park, Kuala Lumpur’s City Centre Park, Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain Oasis and Istanbul’s Ataturk Kent Orman in receiving the highest award given out this year.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “This international award recognises that Auckland’s Ambury Park is truly world-class. Our parks are a real taonga for Tāmaki Makaurau and it’s fantastic that Aucklanders get to enjoy them every day.”
Mark Bowater, Head of Parks Services agrees.
“We have a world class parks system in Auckland. To receive this award is very significant.
“Our parks are crucial for creating a vibrant city and healthy communities. This was especially evident during the lockdowns this year.
“Ambury is a wonderful park that many community groups enjoy regularly.”
Ambury stands out in its uniqueness as it balances functioning as a working farm, is a recreational destination, and is also a significant habitat for shore birds and various ecological sites, including examples of basalt lava flows.
It also plays an important role in farming and environment education for Auckland schools.
The silver award recognises Ambury as a piece of preserved farming country very close to the centre of Auckland.
It notes that Ambury gives Aucklanders an opportunity to exercise in open country and enjoy the culture of farming even when living in a major city.
Senior Ranger Bronwen Lehmann says the award highlights the special nature of the park.
“We have multiple schools come here and learn so much about protecting nature, and farming life.
“The kids always leave with smiles on their faces and we know their knowledge of farming and caring for the environment has been enhanced by Ambury.”
In addition to the Silver Award, Ambury regional park was recognised in the Green Flag Awards which were also announced this week.
A notable winner
South Auckland’s Randwick Park is a notable Green Flag winner for the third year in a row.
Run by the community, the park is a great example of local community empowerment by Council through Manurewa Local Board.
Dave Tims of Randwick Park Sports and Community Trust is delighted that the community efforts have been recognised again.
“Locals love this park and get so much out of it.
“This award represents so much hard work, care and aroha from Randwick Park locals, and it is nice to have that recognised.”
Communities and council working together
Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee says having community groups involved in caring for Auckland parks is really important.
“As a someone who represents South Auckland where these two award winning parks are located, I am proud of how much aroha the communities have for parks.
“Having volunteer groups come alongside our staff to care for our green spaces is a huge benefit.
“It allows us to spread the knowledge of sustainability and ensures our parks become even more embraced by the community.”
Ranger Bronwen Lehmann agrees.
“Seeing young people planting a tree or learning about the special environments and native species we have across the region is a real joy.
“When the children’s’ faces light up I know that our parks will be looked after long into the future.”
Ambury regional park was not the only Auckland park to be awarded a Green Flag.
Other recipients are:
Long Bay Regional Park
Tawharanui Regional Park
All the award winners highlight the great work of our staff according to Councillor Alf Filipaina.
“They work hard to create parks that we all enjoy.
“I’d encourage all Aucklanders to get out to enjoy our world class parks and when they do, consider all the great work that goes into making the green spaces look so amazing.”