The Park in Upper Pyes Pa, is a joint venture between Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Tauranga City Council. It is one of 18 parks across the country to make the grade in this year’s New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) Green Flag awards.
Park Manager Bill Wheeler says the achievement is as much about the park staff’s commitment and professionalism as it is about what the park has to offer the community.
“The Green Flag Award reflects the whole package – the staff commitment to the Park’s culture of sustainability, how we manage the park to reflect our philosophy, how we present ourselves and how we welcome visitors and user groups,’’ says Bill.
Park Ranger Daryll Hall and landscaper Kelly Turner put in hours of work preparing the park for the annual visit from the Green Flag judges.
But the Park’s continuing success goes far beyond the final spit and polish, says Bill.
“This is a really important award for the Park’s reputation. We have been judged by the best people within the recreation industry so the benchmarks are high.
“The award signals the Park is a quality product that people, sponsors and users can put their faith in – this international industry standard is a massive tick for our credibility.’’
The award is judged across eight criteria – horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, community involvement and providing a warm welcome.
TECT Park’s innovative planning caught the judges’ eyes – including new technology for monitoring gate traffic and high use areas; planning for the cell phone tower coverage and future proofing the park for sustainability.
TECT Park is also distinctive for its wilderness nature – a place where visitors can leave the city confines and go to a space where they can virtually feel free and alone. It takes a unique approach to providing a home for activities that are displaced by urban growth.
“The fact that we’re breaking new ground but still able to meet the most rigorous industry standards is testament to the fantastic work of our staff and our user groups,’’ says Bill.