Te Mata Park has again been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Community Award. The Green Flag Award is an international award, signifying a park or green space of the highest integrity, judged by green space expert volunteers across several criteria. For the Community Award, these criteria include safety of the space and encouragement of healthy lifestyle, cleanliness and maintenance, environmental management, biodiversity and heritage, community involvement, projects and achievements, and welcoming accessibility for all.
“We are absolutely delighted,” comments Mike Devonshire, Chairman of Te Mata Park Trust Board. “This is a big accolade for the Park, and a true reflection of the sheer amount of volunteer hours that go in to maintaining this wonderful asset for our community.”
Such a high international honour is received with great pride by the community and all those involved with the Park.
“The Park is administered by a group of 7 volunteer Trustees, as well as a part time Caretaker and Manager. We have a clear governance structure and work closely with important stakeholders, including Hastings District Council, HB Regional Council and Mana Whenua. Receiving this Community Award is both gratifying, and pleasing, to know we are doing all the right things,” adds Devonshire.
The Green Flag Award scheme was launched in 1996 and is managed in England by Keep Britain Tidy, and here in New Zealand by Recreation Aotearoa. Over 1,700 Green Flags sites are now across the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Protected by an open space covenant under the QEII National Trust, and designated an “Outstanding Natural Landscape” in the Hastings District Plan, Te Mata Park was gifted to the community by the Chambers family in 1927. The land is owned by a private Trust and exists purely for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.
Devonshire attributes the award to the vision and commitment of all volunteers who have contributed to the Park, both now and in the past.
“People love Te Mata Park. As guardians of the land, it is our role to maintain it, but also enhance and improve, without taking away from the unique nature of the Park. The Trust Board is looking ahead to the next 100 years, and future generations. This international Green Flag Award confirms that we are heading down the right track.”