Posted by Ruth Woodward
Western Bay of Plenty’s TECT All Terrain Adventure Park has won the supreme award in this year’s inaugural Best of Parks Green Flag Award by Recreation Aotearoa.
The inaugural award was announced at the 2019 Green Pavlova Conference dinner last week and came as a complete surprise to the park’s joint owners Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Tauranga City Council.
The award represents the standards set by the International Green Flag Award programme and is awarded to a park that continues to meet the Green Flag Award criteria.
• it is a welcoming place
• communicates to its community of users
• meets sustainability and environmental standards
• plans for the future
• communicates a connection to the Green Flag Award
• uses the Green Flag Award to develop their management of the park.
TECT All Terrain Park was the top contender from the 27 Green Flag Parks throughout the country, six of these met the 27 criteria for this individual award and were judged by industry peers.
Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber says this top achievement is the icing on the cake – coming on top of Green Flag Awards achieved by the park for the last five years.
“TECT Park, by its location and amenity value, is drawing increasing visitors from our region and further afield. Many are visiting and staying overnight to experience the park. While the location is great, we are also fortunate to have an operations team that ensures the park meets the highest of standards and is always looking for new ways to add value to the visitor experience.”
Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said staff from both councils should be immensely proud of the achievement as the park would now be seen as a benchmark for excellence on the national stage.
“This is a fantastic result. TECT Park has been recognised as one of the nation’s best-managed parks several times in recent years, but to win the top award is really something.”
Recreation Aotearoa Parks and Open Spaces Programme Manager, Karl Nesbitt, says the park received the award for working with the award program to improve itself and its dedication to the Green Flag programme.
“The international Green Flag Award programme represents parks that are well managed, sustainable, communicate with their community, are fit for purpose and are accessible. “There are more than 2500 Green Flag parks worldwide and the recognition of being the 2019 Green Flag Park of the year for New Zealand is testament to the team at TECT All Terrain,” says Karl.
TECT All Terrain Park manager Bill Wheeler says the award is recognition by the industry of the park’s standard of management – down to the tiniest detail.
“This international industry standard recognition is a massive tick for our credibility and reflects the trust that our elected members from both councils have in the park’s team to deliver and achieve its goals. They have given us the opportunity to do our best work and they have supported our decision making.
“The park is still in its development stage compared to many parks in New Zealand that have huge investment and history. So to achieve this top award is an amazing recognition and reflects that we have not only hit the top benchmark but that we are excelling.”
The park’s main sponsor Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT) Deputy Chairperson, Natalie Bridges, says the award represents the significant value the park has in the region.
“TECT is proud to have supported this transformational project since 2004 with $3.5 million. TECT’s community focus means we can provide this high level funding to ensure enjoyment of these assets and help create a District in which people want to live, work and play.
“TECT All Terrain Park is one of our region’s greatest assets, providing an adventure playground for outdoor recreation and a conservationist hub for native bush and wildlife. “This recognition is well deserved and we congratulate all involved.”