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Auckland Council secures awards for parks and playgrounds excellence

Auckland Council secures awards for parks and playgrounds excellence
November 17, 2019

Auckland Council's Healthy Waters team in partnership with Fulton Hogan, Boffa Miskell and AECOM secured four awards at the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Awards and one at the Engineering New Zealand ENVI Awards last week for the Te Auaunga stream restoration project.

The Playgrounds Excellence award was for the Mara Hupara Playground in the Te Auaunga stream restoration project.

The Te Auanga Awa Oakley Creek project to upgrade the stormwater system in the area transformed the overgrown and inaccessible urban stream into an open waterway. The project identified an opportunity to work closely with mana whenua and local communities, improving the ecology and experience of the area as well as placing 26 unemployed locals back into employment or training.

Stream restoration along 1.3 kilometre of the creek included the planting of 100,000 natives. Eight hectares of open space has been restored with shared pathways, pedestrian bridges, community orchards, a community fale and atea space, and even an outdoor classroom have been introduced.

The Māra hūpara playground built as a part of the project is the first of its kind, a natural play area which interpreted the environmental and cultural narratives of the site. This was designed collaboratively with mana whenua, Local Boards, HNZC, schools, artists, and the Auckland Council ‘family’.

The playground brings together a collection of ancient Māori play artefacts into a single space to create a traditional Māori playground.  

One artefact, more commonly known as kōpapa, is a network of long logs, linked one to the other, to create elevated walkways. Historically, these networks were a buzz of activity, serving multiple uses for communities; a path to traverse marshy areas and flood plains, tree crowns to set bird snares; secret, hidden escape routes high in the tree for forest-dwelling communities.

Now, they’re a creation for children to play, explore and build confidence at height.

The judges commented that "Te Auaunga Awa Oakley Creek embodies the principles of sustainable management and has been well-conceived from the outset, with clear goals and objectives to achieve sustainability outcomes through a variety of initiatives.

"The project is an excellent example of community collaboration and design-led approach to enhancing environmental and cultural narratives of the site.

Project Manager, Tom Mansell noted that "this is truly a partnership grounded in the desire to achieve shared outcomes across all of the sustainability pillars.

"At every opportunity, we sought ways to deliver tangible cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits. The project reduced flooding, improved water quality and had high community and iwi engagement.”

All awards received included:

• Parks Excellence (for the Te Auaunga stream restoration)
• Playgrounds Excellence (for the Mara Hupara Playground in the Te Auaunga stream restoration project)
• Te Karanga o te Tui Excellence (for Te Auaunga stream restoration)
• Sustainability Category Winner (for Te Auaunga stream restoration)
• ENVI Engineering Impact Award (for Te Auaunga stream restoration)

Related Articles

14th October 2019 - Wellington City Council consultation sees playgrounds transition to play spaces

3rd October 2019 - Finest examples of play and sport project construction recognised at SAPIA Industry Awards

18th September 2019 - Aktive brings Auckland mayoral candidates together to debate sport and recreation matters

5th July 2019 - World Urban Parks awards Auckland’s Shakespear Regional Park

14th June 2019 - More Auckland parks being shut due to kauri dieback

2nd May 2019 - New equestrian facilities opened in Auckland

25th January 2019 - Auckland Royal Reserve Playground opens

20th November 2018 - 23 parks and open space areas in New Zealand receive Green Flag Awards

15th August 2018 - Auckland Council commits to providing more parks and open space

22nd May 2018 - Tapapakanga Regional Park retains Green Flag award

16th March 2018 - Auckland parks head list of Green Flags Award winners

26th January 2017 - Auckland Council takes back control of Motukorea Browns Island

3rd January 2017 - Head of Auckland Parks Services named new NZRA Chairperson

25th November 2016 - Auckland reserve named World Landscape of the Year 2016

3rd June 2015 - New TEA/AECOM report shows increased global attendances at theme parks and museums

21st December 2014 - NZRA highlights the value of council recreation investment

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