International award for the Auckland Domain
Auckland Domain has received international recognition for its recreation opportunities, and preservation and interpretation of indigenous culture. It was named in the Bronze category of the inaugural International Large Urban Parks Awards. Judges praised it for it’s well protected and managed parklands.
The awards, run by World Urban Parks, recognise quality parks across the world, the skills of the people who manage them and the value green spaces bring to the cities they serve. World Urban Parks is a new international organisation representing urban parks, open space and the recreation sector.
Councillor and Auckland Domain committee chairperson, Mike Lee, says the Domain is managed and conserved to maintain and enhance its cultural, historic, natural and volcanic landscape values, and to provide plenty of recreational activities for people to get out into nature.
“The park is very much the jewel of Auckland’s four thousand plus network of parks”, he says, “so I’m thrilled to see it being recognised on the global stage. This award is also a fantastic recognition of the staff, volunteers and contractors who work tirelessly to ensure the park is maintained for everyone to enjoy.”
Award entries were judged on four criteria: design and layout, features and facilities, protection and community engagement and involvement, and park management and maintenance.
Manager of Auckland Domain Jane Aickin says, “The awards reflect on the global importance of urban parks for supporting health, the environment and bringing communities together.
“Connecting with nature significantly contributes to our quality of life. With Auckland’s population projected to increase by 44 per cent over the next 30 years, it is important that we support the development of parks and open spaces in creating vibrant cities and healthy communities."
Situated in the city centre, the Domain is Auckland’s oldest park and houses Auckland War Memorial Museum. The 75 hectres was set aside as a reserve in the 1840s, and initially known as Auckland Park. It sits proudly on the cone of the extinct Pukekawa volcano and features beautiful gardens, duck ponds, large green open spaces edged by mature trees, sports fields and walks. It’s also home to the Wintergardens and Fernery.
The park has an extensive Māori and European history and in recognition of its unique place as a local, regional and national treasure, Auckland Domain has a dedicated governing committee.