Hastings scoops Recreation Aotearoa award wins and recognition

More Recreation Aotearoa awards have been picked up by Flaxmere Park and the skate plaza Te Pae Whīra o Pā Harakeke.

Flaxmere Park was named Outstanding Park of the Year in the national awards announced yesterday, while Te Pae Whīra o Pā Harakeke skate park won the Outstanding Recreation Facility category.

In another accolade, Hastings District 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.”

Mr 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.”

Mr Heke also congratulated Jennifer Leaf on her accolade. “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 acknowledged 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.

Te Pae Whīra o Pā Harakeke skatepark opened in December last year, designed by the community for the community. From inception to completion and now maintenance, the facility not only meets the needs of all users, it features extensive artwork that reflects the deep cultural identity of Pāharakeke.

In 2020 and early 2023, Flaxmere Park was named Most Active Park of the Year.


Media Release – Heretaunga Hastings District Council