Hastings District Council’s Flaxmere Park and skate plaza Te Pae Whīra o Pā Harakeke have picked up honours at the annual Recreation Aotearoa awards.
Flaxmere Park was named Outstanding Park of the Year in the national awards, while Te Pae Whīra o Pā Harakeke skate park won the Outstanding Recreation Facility category.
In another accolade, Council’s public spaces operations manager, Jennifer Leaf, was made a fellow of Recreation Aotearoa, which is presented to members considered to have made a significant contribution to the purpose, aims and work of Recreation Aotearoa.
Flaxmere councillor, Henry Heke said the park and plaza had become a real hub for the Flaxmere community.
“It’s always really busy and very social. People are down here being active on the skatepark, in the playground or on the basketball court; others are just hanging out or having a barbecue with whānau or friends. It is a much-loved place for our people,” he said.
Cr Heke said residents should be very proud of the part they have played in making the park such a success.
“People from across Flaxmere, from our kids to our kaumātua, have been involved in the
development of the park over the past 10-plus years, from choosing playground gear and plants, to the design of the skatepark. That has resulted in a park with facilities that suit our community and they look after it.”
Cr Heke also congratulated Ms Leaf on her accolade, saying, “She is a huge talent in our parks team and to the wider open spaces kaupapa across Aotearoa, and this is fitting recognition for her services.”
The Flaxmere Park award acknowledges the park’s wide appeal, extending beyond Flaxmere residents to the wider Hawke’s Bay community, and attracting regional sports clubs and domestic and international visitors to the area.
With its wide range of equipment and recreation facilities, rugby fields, accessible playground, basketball and volleyball courts, ki o rahi pitch, established gardens and trees and the new skatepark, this park has something for everyone, Council said in a statement.
Te Pae Whīra o Pā Harakeke skatepark opened in December last year,
In 2020 and early 2023, Flaxmere Park was named Most Active Park of the Year.