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1 December 2020

Henley Lake has become one of only three parks in New Zealand to receive an international Green Flag community award.

In awards announced this week by Recreational Aotearoa, Queen Elizabeth Park has also retained its Green Flag status, for the third year running.

The Green Flag Award is the international mark of a quality park or green space, judged by green space-expert volunteers, across 27 criteria. These include horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, community involvement, accessibility and providing a warm welcome.

In total this year, 24 parks in New Zealand have made the grade to be awarded a Green Flag.

Community awards specifically recognise those green space sites managed with the help of volunteer or community groups.

Henley Lake is managed by Masterton District Council in conjunction with the Henley Trust.

Trust chair Tom Ward is delighted with award.

“It’s fantastic news and a credit to the people who do so much work in the park as volunteers,” he said.

“And it’s a real morale boost after some mindless acts of vandalism this year.

“Henley Lake is used and appreciated by a huge number of people, and we know how valuable it is. It is wonderful that the Green Flag award provides international recognition of the calibre of the park.”

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said the awards reflected the work put into both green spaces.

‘I’m thrilled that the effort put in by the Henley Trust volunteers, with the council, has been recognised, and it is no surprise that Queen Elizabeth Park continues to wow judges.

“The value of these green spaces was highlighted this year as people faced restricted options for activity as a result of COVID-19 and the parks came to the rescue. I am not surprised that Masterton is on the map with these two parks of exceptional quality.

“The council is currently working on its Parks and Open Spaces Strategy, which I believe will help us enhance even further opportunities for people to get outdoors and appreciate our natural spaces.”

Judges’ commented:

“The stand-out aspect of Henley Lake is the close relationship, aligned thinking, clear communication and effective role division between council officers, (contractor) Recreation Services and the Trust.  The Trust, with council and contractor support, is able to deliver a range of services across an extensive site and this provides the community with a wide range of benefits.  They do this on a very small budget.”

Henley Lake was singled out for specific recognition in the international Green Flag media release.

The two other community award Green Flag sites in New Zealand are Te Mata Peak Park in the Hawkes Bay, and Randwick Park in Manurewa.