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Rotorua District Council gets international Green Flag Award

Rotorua District Council gets international Green Flag Award for The Redwoods

ROTORUA 30.01.13: Rotorua District Council’s (RDC) parks and reserves are clearly amongst the country’s best and can hold their own on the international stage.

That’s the call from Mayor Kevin Winters following yesterday’s [29 January] announcement that The Redwoods/Tokorangi Forest is the recipient of an international Green Flag Award in the programme’s inaugural year in Australia and New Zealand.

The Parks Forum’s Green Flag Award is a worldwide programme which assesses the quality of parks across a number of categories, including safety, quality of the facilities, management of the environment and historical features, and as great places for people to play and recreate.

Mr Winters said The Redwoods was one of only 12 southern hemisphere Green Flag Award recipients, seven from New Zealand and five from Australia.

“Getting this prestigious award comes on top of a long list of national and regional awards for RDC last year, and further endorses Rotorua’s reputation as having some of the best parks and reserves in New Zealand. It’s another indication that our council is performing up with the best in the country.

“I’m really pleased that RDC has achieved international recognition for the fantastic work our team does in managing The Redwoods on behalf of our community.”

Rotorua District Council’s Parks & Recreation manager Garry Page and council landscape architect Joby Barham are both accredited judges for the scheme. Mr Page has been involved in pilot trials that saw the scheme introduced to the southern hemisphere this year while Mr Barham was a judge and assessed the Karangahake Gorge Green Flag entry.

Mr Page said healthy, well managed parks mean healthier communities, and the Green Flag Award shows which parks are setting the standard.

“It’s great to see The Redwoods/Tokorangi Forest recognised formally on the world stage. Local visitors, as well as national and international tourists can be sure that they will be visiting a truly great park.

“Congratulations in particular to Redwoods Forest & Visitor Centre manager Julianne Wilkinson and her great team. They put in a huge amount of hard work behind the scenes to ensure our forest is available for recreational use, and much of the credit for this award should go to them for their dedication and professionalism.”

David Clark, Melbourne-based CEO of Green Flag accreditation agency Parks Forum congratulated Rotorua District Council on their award.

“Our parks provide a window to the natural environment and in a highly urbanised society parks are more important than ever,” he said.

The 12 Australian and New Zealand parks which have been announced as winners of international Green Flag awards this week are:

· The Redwoods/Tokorangi, Rotorua District Council, NZ

· Tapapakanga Regional Park, Auckland Council, NZ

· Ambury Regional Park, Auckland Council, NZ

· Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton City Council, NZ

· Karangahake Gorge, Department of Conservation, NZ

· Parihaka Scenic Reserve, Whangarei District Council, NZ

· Timber Trail Pureora-Orangue, Department of Conservation, NZ

· Phillip Island Nature Parks, Australia

· Centennial Park, Centennial Park and Moore Trust, Sydney, Australia

· Hyde Park, City of Sydney, Australia

· Fitzroy Gardens, City of Melbourne, Australia

· Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Parks and Gardens Authority, WA, Australia


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