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Green Flag for TECT All Terrain Park

The TECT All Terrain Park has won the Recreation Aotearoa Green Flag Award. Photos: SunLive

TECT All Terrain Park has been awarded Recreation Aotearoa’s Green Flag Award for the fifth year in a row – topping off a stellar year for the park.

The Green Flag Award 2019/20 adds to the Supreme Green Flag Award won by the park in May for the inaugural Best of Parks Green Flag awards. TECT All Terrain Park was the top contender from 27 Green Flag Parks throughout the country.

The latest Green Flag award announced this week is shared by 29 parks and open spaces selected across New Zealand by Recreation Aotearoa.

Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber says the ongoing success of the park in the Green Flag Awards is testament to the professionalism and quality of the staff that underlies everything the park embodies.

“People, sponsors and users can have faith that the Park is one of the best in the world,” says Garry. “The success is also a result of the excellent collaboration of our two councils in the governance of the park and ensuring it is a well-supported operation.”

“Receiving this prestigious award for the fifth year in a row is a great achievement for the sub-region,” says Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell. “It is testament to both councils who have collaboratively turned this park into a hugely successful open space that caters to a range of active and passive recreational activities.”

Park Manager Bill Wheeler says the achievement is as much about what the park has to offer the community as it is about the park staff’s commitment and professionalism.

“The Green Flag is an excellent opportunity to benchmark ourselves against the best in the world and show that we can continue to provide a world leading facility for Western Bay residents,” says Bill.

The award is judged across numerous criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, community involvement, accessibility and providing a warm welcome.

The Green Flag Award is an international programme that rewards parks and green spaces for providing high quality and innovative recreational experiences.

Recreation Aotearoa Outdoor Spaces Manager and Green Flag judge Karl Nesbitt says this year’s award features two new councils and seven new parks – a positive challenge for judges.

“We’ve had a great opportunity to experience some of New Zealand’s quality open spaces – a big thank you to the communities behind the management and delivery of these parks,” says Karl. “Thanks also to the judges who volunteer their time and share their knowledge with the park teams.”

The 1650-hectare TECT All Terrain Park in Upper Pyes Pa is a joint venture between Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City councils. It is the base for many outdoor sports user groups and its public facilities include tracks for walking, mountain biking, equestrian and family-focused motorcycle tracks and a dedicated dog exercise area.

In May the park won the Supreme Green Flag Award for the inaugural Best of Parks Green Flag awards. Parks and Open Spaces Programme Manager Karl Nesbitt came from Wellington to formally present the inaugural award to the then mayors of Western Bay and Tauranga City councils, Garry Webber and Greg Brownless, Deputy Chief Executive Gary Allis, TECT Park Manager Bill Wheeler, TECT Deputy Chair Natalie Bridges and Western Bay of Plenty District Council Reserves and Facilities Manager Peter Watson. TECT All Terrain Park was the top contender from the 27 Green Flag Parks throughout the country contesting the Best of Parks Award.

The park is located on State Highway 36 approximately half way between Tauranga and Rotorua. Summer hours for the park are 7am – 9pm. 

Tangata Whenua is actively consulted to ensure that local history and special features are taken into consideration. This has provided the opportunity to research archaeological records for the Taumata and Ngawaro region, as well as the interpretation of the Park's history.

Ngati Ranginui kaumatua Des Tata says the spiritual aspect of the names in the park is very important to Tangata Whenua, with many stories of significance behind them.

Des says "some of the ancient names go back 18 generations". For example, Te Ara o Raho means the trail that the warrior Raho took when he was chased through the area. Raho used the terrain to his advantage and alluded his pursuers by taking a zig-zag route. Pikopiko means winding or zig-zag, hence Mangakopikopiko.

Te Ara o Raho, Mangakopikopiko, Ngawaro, Waimihia and Te Rerenga have been chosen, to name the important roads and walking tracks at the Park. The names carry with them the Maori history of the Park and denote events or sites of significance to local Maori.

Events coming up at the park during November include the BOP Radio Control Car Club Fun Day on November 10, the Mud Dog Run – a great family event for dog lovers – also on November 10, and the BOP Radio Control Car Club Race Day on November 24.  More information about park developments and events can be found here - www.tectallterrainpark.co.nz

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