Walmsley and Underwood Park, Totara Park and North Shore Memorial Park have joined seven other Auckland Council parks as being recognised as some of the best green spaces in the world in the annual Green Flag Awards.
The Green Flag Award scheme is an international quality mark for parks and green spaces, which assesses parks on criteria such as quality of services, safety, maintenance, community involvement and sustainability.
Auckland Council parks have consistently been awarded Green Flags since 2016, setting a standard for excellence in public parks and providing quality outdoor spaces across Tāmaki Makaurau.
Taryn Crewe, Auckland Council’s General Manager for Parks and Community Facilities, is pleased that Auckland is yet again being commended.
“We know the significant contribution that public parks make to our general well-being, so it’s fantastic to see that our green spaces are consistently judged as some of the best in the world.
“Our staff and contractors work hard to create parks for all Aucklanders to enjoy, and it’s a credit to their dedication and enthusiasm that three new parks have been awarded this year.”
Walmsley and Underwood Park
One of the 2023 inaugural winners is Walmsley and Underwood Park – a recent council project that has helped to naturalise the park’s stream, returning it back to its natural state of a flowing river, and as a result, providing flood prevention benefits, ecological habitat for plants and animals, and recreational spaces for the community to enjoy.
This integrated blue-green approach to parks development is expected to be increasingly important and seen more frequently across Auckland in response to climate change.
Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa Ward Councillor Julie Fairey is proud of the project which she worked on during her years on Puketāpapa Local Board.
“The local board worked closely with mana whenua and the local community, and across council departments, to create beautiful parks that are great places to be in, as well as reducing neighbourhood flooding and increasing biodiversity.”
Another new Green Flag winner is Tōtara Park, a huge 216-hectare park located in Manurewa. The park provides something for everyone, with important community facilities such as the Tōtara Park Pool and the Beaufords Reception Lounge function centre, a thriving park area with BBQ’s, shade, a playground and grassed areas, and a significant network of hiking, horse riding and formed mountain biking trails.
Tōtara Park also has a large amount of mature remnant forest, with huge trees providing ecological benefits to the area, and a highly committed group of volunteers planting each year to expand the forested areas further.
North Shore Memorial Park
Our final new Green Flag winner for 2023 is North Shore Memorial Park, one of three active cemeteries across the Auckland region. Located in Schnapper Rock, this park showcases the very best in cemetery design and operations.
A hugely committed and passionate team of sextons, administrative staff and contractors ensure that the park is very well presented, and that users receive a high-quality experience whether coming to the park for a service, burial, to visit a loved one, or for recreation purposes.
The prestigious Green Flag award was awarded to 10 parks across Auckland:
- Ambury Regional Park (Māngere Bridge)
- Auckland Domain (Grafton)
- Long Bay Regional Park (Long Bay)
- North Shore Memorial Park (Schnapper Rock)
- Parrs Park (Glen Eden)
- Sanders Reserve (Paremoremo)
- Tāwharanui Regional Park (Tāwharanui Peninsula)
- Tōtara Park (Manurewa)
- Walmsley/Underwood Parks (Mount Roskill)
- Waikumete Cemetery (Glen Eden)
Arataki Regional Park and Tui Glen Park were unable to be judged due to impacts from storm events.