Whangarei’s Parihaka Reserve has been awarded its fourth International Green Flag Award, to the delight of Whangarei District Council’s Parks and Recreation team and contractors.
Parihaka Reserve, includes bush walks, a new lookout, Mair Park, mountain bike trails, paths to AH Reed Memorial Park’s canopy walkway and further to Otuihau (Whangarei Falls). It also connects with a mangrove boardwalk near to the Hatea Loop.
“It is a very important part of a fantastic network of parks, playgrounds and paths we are developing in Whangarei. A person could, if they were feeling energetic, walk from Otuihau in Tikipunga to the Hatea Loop, along the Riverside shared path, through the Waimahanga track and along to the beach at Onerahi in a seamlessly connected track,” said Parks and Recreation Manager Paul McDonald.
“This award is a great result. It puts us right at the top of internationally recognised parks, and recognises the huge value of this park to residents and visitors.
“Even more useful to us is the feedback we receive on a comprehensive 23-point assessment carried out by Green Flag’s “mystery shopper”.
“This year they were able to enjoy the refurbished Parihaka Lookout. They said we had “excellent signage; informative, clear, interesting enough to capture attention and all maintained to a high standard. Signs had been carefully located to be suitably visible without detracting from the scenic nature of the site.”
The mystery judge also said the park was very clean and tidy with “excellent attention to litter management throughout the reserve, with more than adequate garbage receptacles throughout.”
Mr McDonald took his hat off to the Whangarei public for that comment.
“It’s one thing to provide and empty bins, but the real secret to success is a community that takes pride and uses them rather than littering.”
“The judge also commented on the children’s playground at Mair Park, and the pleasure parents and children were taking in it, and also talked about how families and social groups were enjoying the reserve and its beauty.
“We were also pretty pleased to see horticultural efforts praised, with the judge saying horticultural standards appeared to be quite high, with obvious skill and care given to selection and siting of species.”
“We have more improvements planned in the coming year, in particular a set of public toilets at the parking area near the summit of Parihaka, so we’ll keep up the good work!” he said.