Green Flags to fly at parks and Tūpuna Maunga of Auckland

Publish Date : 04 Dec 2023

Four Auckland parks and one tūpuna maunga have received international Green Flag Awards for meeting global excellence quality measures:

  • Arataki Waitākere Ranges Regional Park

  • Totara Park

  • North Shore Memorial Park

  • Ambury Regional Park

  • Maungawhau / Mt Eden

The UK-based Green Flag scheme provides assurance to visitors of 2,400 Green Flag parks, cemeteries, heritage sites, community gardens and maunga around the world that facilities, tracks and open spaces in those areas are welcoming, safe, clean and well maintained.

Judges also consider sustainability, including how well natural assets are preserved and enhanced, and how much local communities value their green space. 

Auckland Council General Manager of Parks and Community Facilities Taryn Crewe says the latest Green Flag acknowledgements are a credit to all parks and community facilities staff, contractors and many volunteers who dedicate their time to continually improve our park network.

“It’s wonderful to have that mahi recognised. These awards reflect the commitment and passion our park kaitiaki contribute to making these valued community spaces a welcoming and enriching place for everybody to be."

“Not only do they acknowledge a high standard reached, the Green Flag also sends a signal to visitors that these places are most definitely worth visiting,” she says.

Tūpuna Maunga Authority chair Paul Majurey says it’s a tremendous step forward for this international award to acknowledge one of our tūpuna maunga of Tāmaki Makaurau in this year’s Green Flag awards.

“There is growing appreciation – not just here in Aotearoa but worldwide, for mana whenua / indigenous worldviews on how we value and care for our Papatūānuku," says Paul.

The latest Green Flag recipients span 17 countries around the world and feature open spaces ranging in size from less than one hectare to thousands of hectares.

Waitākere Ranges Regional Park

After being hit hard by extreme weather early this year, our stunning western regional park has undergone track repairs and is now ready to welcome visitors again throughout the summer.

Waitākere has been awarded Green Flag status for the first time this year. A major attraction is the newly reopened Arataki Visitor Centre and viewing platform, along with the Arataki Nature Trail through Te Waonui-a-Tiriwa / the great forest of Tiriwa.

Tōtara Park

An expansive 261-hectare park in Manurewa, Tōtara won its first Green Flag award last year and continues to hit targets set by the Green Flag scheme for the second year running. A highlight of this park is its mature remnant forest located in the heart of busy suburbia.

Some of the well-used community facilities here include the Tōtara Park Pool, a function centre, playground and BBQ settings, as well as walks, horse riding tracks and popular mountain biking trails. 

Tupuna Maunga Mangawhau

Maungawhau/ Mt Eden has been accepted into Green Flag awards this year for the first time. This affirms the Tūpuna Maunga Authority continues to deliver world-leading outcomes in a co-governance partnership.

Recent improvements to Maungawhau, which pre-Covid saw a million visitors each year, include an award-winning tihi /summit boardwalk extension to better protect the site. Native plantings have also been chosen for their potential to attract kahukōwhai / yellow admiral butterfly and mokomoko / skinks.

North Shore Memorial Gardens

North Shore Memorial Gardens also received its first Green Flag last year and now receives a second honour.

Located in Schnapper Rock, the park is one of three active cemeteries across the Auckland region – and the only Auckland cemetery currently in the Green Flag programme.

Innovative cemetery design and efficient operations here both contribute to the high-quality experience all visitors receive.

Ambury Regional Park

Located in Māngere Bridge with expansive views along the coastline of Manukau Harbour, Ambury Regional Park provides up-close encounters with farm animals and the chance to see a working farm in action.

The park's BBQ and picnic sites are popular, along with its walking and bike trails, camping, and bird watching. Ambury Farm Day, held in September, is an annual highlight when animals and people are brought together from around the region. Ambury has achieved Green Flag status for several years now.

Keep an eye out for the Green Flags flying at Auckland’s premium parks this summer. Our five current award winners follow 11 recipients to achieve Green Flag excellence status in 2022/2023:

  • Ambury Regional Park (Māngere Bridge)

  • Pukekawa / 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)

  • Walmsley / Underwood Reserves

  • Tōtara Park

  • Waikumete Cemetery

  • Randwick Park (community award)

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