Te Mata Park has been awarded a prestigious international Community Award as part of the Recreation Aotearoa's Green Flag Awards.

''We are absolutely delighted,'' Te Mata Park Trust Board chairman Mike Devonshire said.

''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."

The community award is given to sites that are welcoming, healthy, safe and secure.

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The sites must also be well maintained, with a strong environmental management plan and proven community connection.

A Recreation Aotearoa spokeswoman said the community award was relatively new for New Zealand.

"It's for parks maintained largely by community and volunteer groups. It's part of the Green Flag Awards, just a different category."

Te Mata Park on Te Mata Peak, Havelock North, named as one of the country's top community parks. Photo / Warren Buckland
Te Mata Park on Te Mata Peak, Havelock North, named as one of the country's top community parks. Photo / Warren Buckland

The Te Mata Park is administered by a group of seven volunteer trustees, as well as a part-time caretaker and manager, Devonshire said.

"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," he said.

Recreation Aotearoa Parks and Open Spaces Programme Manager, and Green Flag judge, Karl Nesbitt said the Green Flag Award this year had been "a positive challenge, with two new councils and seven new parks coming on board.

"As judges we've had the great opportunity to experience some of New Zealand's quality places and spaces that are used by the community.

"A big thank you needs to go to the communities behind the management and delivery of these parks and to our judges who volunteer their time to share their knowledge with the park teams. We look forward to another year working with Green Flag Award recipients and sharing with the public the great spaces they provide."

The Green Flag Award is a great way for the local parks to enhance public attraction and engagement, maximise funding and revenue opportunities and give communities a sense of civic pride, Nesbitt said.

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