I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee will be held on:




Meeting Room:



Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Room 1, Level 26
135 Albert Street


Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee









Hon Christine Fletcher, QSO


Deputy Chairperson

Cr Calum Penrose



Cr Dr Cathy Casey

Cr Wayne Walker


Cr Bill Cashmore

Cr John Watson


Cr Ross Clow

Member Glenn Wilcox


Cr Chris Darby

Member Karen Wilson


Cr Alf Filipaina



Cr Mike Lee



Cr Dick Quax



Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM



Cr Sir John Walker, KNZM, CBE






Mayor Len Brown, JP



Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse



(Quorum 8 members)




Tam White

Democracy Advisor


29 August 2016


Contact Telephone: (09) 890 8156

Email: tam.white@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz




Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee

31 August 2016



ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                        PAGE


9          General Manager's Report - Parks, Sports and Recreation                                     5   



Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee

31 August 2016



General Manager's Report - Parks, Sports and Recreation


File No.: CP2016/19162



1.       To update the Committee on successes and delivery of the past three years undertaken by the Department of Parks, Sports and Recreation to support implementation of plans and policies of Auckland Council.

Executive summary

2.       This report has been written to update the committee on a range of projects across the Parks, Sports and Recreation portfolio; celebrate some of the highlights and achievements and note progress on approved work programmes over the past three years.


That the Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee:

a)      receive the update report from the General Manager – Parks, Sports and Recreation.



3.       Leisure was formed in July 2013 bringing together a unit to align the delivery of the 41 pool and leisure centres across Auckland.  During that time Leisure has grown significantly and become more focused in our goal to “Inspire Aucklanders to be Active” and develop a “Game Plan” that provides a framework to all Leisure staff on how we will achieve this. 

4.       The challenge for Leisure has been differentiating itself from other providers in the market which are also part of the industry focussed on getting Aucklanders active. This required us to shift our focus from competing with those other providers, to focusing on those people in our community who struggle to be active on a regular basis and are not being catered for in that system. In order to do that effectively we have had to understand our customers more, find out what their barriers and challenges are and develop programmes and structures to support their needs.  We have developed some in-depth customer insights that are now guiding our delivery and the services we provide.

5.       Leisure’s financial performance has improved considerably since reestablishing the unit in 2013. Leisure now has a more focused and aligned approach and has the ability to make our size work with some significant gains in the procurement of contracts and services.  Leisure’s net operating position has reduced rates funding from $10.8 million  to $5.7 million, an average of $1.6 million improvement per year ensuring Leisure continues to deliver on the Business of Leisure programme put forward as part of the LTP and with the end goal of becoming operationally cost neutral within 10 years.   

6.       In order to drive this focus and on-going improvement Leisure has rolled out a programme of work to embed continuous improvement, or Lean thinking, across the service with the goal to have continuous improvement embed in our culture.  Leisure is already seeing the benefits of providing its teams with the tools and systems to break down the old thinking of “we have always done it that way” and “it if isn’t broken why fix it”. This allows our teams to critically analyse situations and put the customer at the centre of the conversation as well as being comfortable in asking the question why do we do it that way, does it work for the customer?  Through this training staff are becoming more empowered and the flow on effect is improving staff engagement and ownership.



7.       Over the last three years Leisure successfully delivered some major projects including:

·         The completion and opening of Toia, Ōtāhuhu

·         Major upgrade of the Mt Albert Aquatic Centre

·         Major renewals of Glenfield Pool and Leisure Centre, West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre and the Takapuna Early Childhood Centre.

·         Near completion of the new Albany Stadium Pool and a major upgrade of the Stanmore Bay Pool and Leisure Centre

8.         These upgrades and new facilities continue to enhance the services we are able to provide Aucklanders and ensure our facilities are fit for purpose now and into the future.

9.         During this period Leisure has also successfully retendered all but one of the Facility Management contracts.  We now have alignment across all 41 of our council-owned pool and leisure centres. This allows us to start maximising our size and function more as a network rather than individual sites.

10.       Leisure has made some significant improvements since forming in 2013. There is however still more work to do to inspire Aucklanders to be active and establish the foundations which will allow us to achieve that goal.

Auckland Sport and Recreation Strategic Action Plan

11.       Launched in March 2014, the Auckland Sport and Recreation Strategic Action Plan (ASARSAP) is Auckland’s guide to planning, designing and delivering recreation and sport opportunities. The plan sets out a 10 year strategic vision with actions to guide the investment, resource and effort of all parties.

12.       Auckland Council supports sport and recreation in many ways, including the provision of facilities and open space, delivering programmes and investment in the sector. The council’s Sport and Recreation Investment programme supports the delivery of the Auckland Sport and Recreation Strategic Action Plan to encourage more Aucklanders, to be more active, more often. In 2015/2016 $500,000 was allocated to a number of organisations through the Regional Sport and Recreation Grants Programme. A further $1 million was allocated through the Community Access Scheme.

13.       The first annual report to Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee and One Voice on ASARSAP implementation was presented in November 2015.  Highlights and key achievements include:

·    Collective implementation resulted in 20 per cent increase in investment into the Auckland sport and recreation sector by key strategic partners

·    Ministry of Health investment of $14 million into three Healthy Families communities as a result of a collaborative and strategic approach

·    New investment of $1.3 million targeting increased community sport and recreation participation in Indian and Samoan communities in Auckland.

Sport and Recreation

14.       Developing facilities in partnership with others achieves sport and recreation outcomes by leveraging third party land and funding. Thirty-six facility partnership projects with council investment of approximately $1.7 million and a total project value of $3.5 million, have been completed over the last three years. Twenty-eight facility partnership projects are ongoing with council investment of approximately $9 million towards a total project value of over $40 million.


15.     The Millennium Pool in Mairangi Bay was completed with council partnership investment of $13 million towards the total facility cost of $27 million ensuring community access to the pool facility and the opportunity for Auckland to host international and national swimming events.

16.     The facility partnership with Auckland Rowing has commenced with central, west and southern local boards jointly funding the development of water access and pontoons on the Tamaki River. The project will bring much needed water access to this area for waka ama and paddle sports where the sector is experiencing growth in participation. This is a three phased project with further work to develop a multipurpose water facility at the site currently occupied by rowing. This community-led project is led by Auckland Rowing with support from the Sport and Recreation partnerships team.

17.     The completion of the three year project with Sport New Zealand and Aktive aimed at building knowledge, processes and resources to support the development multi-sport partnerships in Auckland.  The project was successful in achieving a wide range of outcomes with the most important being a shift in sector thinking on the importance of partnerships, including:

·    40 sports clubs across eight partnerships with over 180 club volunteers part of partnership conversations

·    Investment of over $3.5 million into eight partnership sites delivering significant improvements to sport facilities and greater diversity of sport activity

·    Growth in club membership at partnership sites by more than 67 per cent

·    Two sport partnership conferences bringing together over 250 people from the sport and recreation sector including clubs, regional sports organisations, tertiary sector, local boards and councillors

·    Development of a variety of resources, video case studies and material which supports the development of sport partnerships.

18.     The Boroughs is a partnership project between Spark and the Auckland Council to develop five outdoor basketball courts across Auckland. The southern court (Otamariki Park, Ōtara) was completed in September 2015 and, based on the learning’s from its development, the council is now leading the project implementation with three more courts being delivered before summer, namely: Hooton Reserve (Albany) in the north, Avondale Central Reserve in the west and Victoria Park, near the CBD. The partnership with Spark is working well, with the council focused on the capital development and Spark focussed on the technology and overall project communications.

19.     The ‘Sport Beyond School’ Active Communities Project won the New Zealand Recreation Association Outstanding Community Recreation Programme Award for 2015.  This project was a partnership between the University of Auckland, Auckland Council, College Sport and the four regional sports trusts, targeting ongoing participation in sport and recreation for school leavers.

20.     Auckland Council, in collaboration with Unitec Institute of Technology Bachelor of Sport (Management) students, hosted a Youth Speak Sport Summit at Eden Park Stadium in May, during Youth Week. More than 100 students from schools across Auckland attended to have a voice for the future of sport and recreation in Auckland. The event was co-led with young people – Unitec students and representatives from the council’s Youth Advisory Panel and Local Youth Boards. A significant outcome of the event was the design and voting of top projects by young people, the most popular being movies at the pools/parks/beach and ‘tagging blocks’ with bluetooth speakers.  Parks, Sport and Recreation will now be working alongside young people to implement these ideas in their communities.

21.     The council has partnered with innovative New Zealand mixed reality experience designers GeoAR Games to trial a new smart phone app as a way to activate our parks.

·              An agreement has been signed to trial GeoAR's ‘Magical Park’ digital playground app in eight parks around Auckland for two months from 4 July to 4 September. The digital   playground experience is aimed at children aged 6-11, allowing them to explore digital content in the real world by viewing it through their smartphone or tablet

·              The two month trial is in, Pukekohe Hill Reserve, Onepoto Domain, Harbour View Reserve, Okahu Bay, Victoria Park, Auckland Domain, Roberta Reserve, Long Bay Regional Park.


22.     The Auckland Council Parks and Open Space Strategic Action Plan 2013 (POSSAP) is a key deliverable of The Auckland Plan. The POSSAP establishes four areas of focus for all open space: Treasure; Enjoy; Connect; Utilise. The services provided by the Parks team play a unique and special role in meeting these outcomes:

POSSAP focus areas




Examples of how Parks delivers on these priorities

Treasure our parks and open spaces

Manaakitia te taiao

Protecting and conserving our parks and open spaces and improving people’s ability to understand and appreciate their value and significance.

·      Protect and care for Auckland’s special places

·      Protect our coastline and waterways

·      Restore and enhance Auckland’s native biodiversity

·      Tell our stories and histories.

·      Interpretation programmes

·      Cemeteries record and tell a story of Auckland’s history and diversity

·      Ranger service

·      Together with other teams across council and external partners the protection of fauna and flora (eg open sanctuaries, environmental programmes)

·      Pest and weed management programmes.

Enjoy our parks and open spaces

Ngā papa te rēhia

Ensuring our parks and open spaces can meet the needs of our growing population.

·      Accommodate more use and activities

·      Balance diverse demands

·      Create safe and enjoyable places

·      Expand the open space network

·      Promote the open space network.

·      Concessionaires

·      Baches, camping, mountain bike trails and tracks, equestrian trails, orienteering, walking tracks

·      Working together with volunteers and other partners to deliver on Parks’ outcomes

·      Increasing capacity across sports fields.

Connect our parks and open spaces

Ngā papa haumi

Creating a green network across Auckland by linking our parks, open spaces and streets.

·      Create greenways across Auckland

·      Create a regional network

·      Connect our natural areas

·      Link with the transport network.

·      Greenways connections through parks

·      Parks provide a connection to the Auckland region coastline

Utilise our parks and open spaces

Ngā papa ra nga hau

Using our parks and open spaces to create a green, resilient and prosperous city with thriving communities.

·      Connect our communities

·      Build a green infrastructure network

·      Provide world class experiences

·      Respond to our changing environment.


·      Over six million visitors to regional parks and the Auckland Botanic Gardens during 2015/16

·      Adapting our services to meet changing demands, e.g. cemeteries and the different cultural expectations regarding burial and cremation services

·      Sports Infrastructure Development programme

·      Five to six million booked participations across sports parks annually.




23.       Public open space generates a wide range of benefits for individuals, groups and the community as a whole.  They include:

·        Physical benefits, measured in terms of participation in organised sports and informal exercise contributing to public health

·        Amenity of places creating a sense of place, adding value to surrounding properties and the enhancing the cityscapes as a whole.

·        Social benefits contributing to personal wellbeing, human development, social interaction, cultural and spiritual identity.

·        Environmental outcomes such as landscape protection, ecological viability and biodiversity.

·        Economic outcomes as a context for tourism, commercial activity and the value of private property.

Local Park projects

Orakei Point to Shore Road walkway

24.       This project includes the development of a board walk that connects pedestrians and recreational cyclists between Ōrākei Point and Ōrākei Basin to the connecting boardwalk at Shore Road. The development of a continuous walkway around the coastal edge has been a strategic objective of the Ōrākei and Waitematā local boards’ plans. The completion of this link is a key milestone in the completion of the walkway.


Orakei Basin

25.       This is a site of significance within Auckland’s local parks network and is highly valued by the Ōrākei community. A key project delivered over the past three years was the upgrade and renewal of the access road, which has improved access for park visitors and community groups who base their activities and programmes at the basin.

26.       Planning is underway for the upgrade of tracks and trails which will improve the level of service for recreational visitors to the basin. Consultation and engagement with stakeholders and user groups is a key aspect of the planning and delivery of the work program, and staff will continue to engage with these groups to ensure community benefits are a key outcome for all projects implemented at the basin.



Onehunga Foreshore Restoration Project (Taumanu)

27.       The planning and development of park spaces and beaches along the Onehunga foreshore of the Manukau Harbour was completed in 2015, as part of the revitalisation and      development of the Onehunga Bay area.

28.       The 6.8ha park has 1.4km of new coastline with beaches, a boat ramp and turning bay,    picnic areas, and open space. Walking and cycling paths traverse the foreshore and link to   Onehunga Bay Reserve via a gateway bridge over SH20.

29.       The Onehunga Foreshore Restoration Project created the park to provide enduring public             access to the Manukau Harbour, and to restore the amenity and recreational opportunities    that existed before the motorway was built across Onehunga Bay.

Wairau Stream Pedestrian Bridge, Milford

30.       Following 10 years of planning, the project was delivered and the bridge opened in            December 2015, construction costs were around $2.2 million.


Victoria Wharf, Devonport repair and upgrade

31.       The revitalised wharf opened in 2015. Following an innovative approach to both design and construction the final costs were $6 million. The estimated cost of full replacement was approximately $12 million.

Hayman Park, Manukau

32.       This park is a central feature within the Manukau City Centre and its development is a priority for the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board. The first phase, with Parks and Auckland Transport working together, was completed in 2014/15 with the widening of Davies Ave adjoining the park. The local parks team has improved sight lines throughout the park with tree removal and pruning of mature trees and path improvements.

33.       In 2015, when it needed to be moved from central Auckland to support the response to a fruit fly incursion, the Pasifika Festival was held in the park. A concept design for the new playspace to be sited on the park is being developed.

Barry Curtis Park, Flat Bush

34.       Barry Curtis Park is the major premier local park development in the southern part of Auckland.  In the last three years the park has continued to be developed with the completion of six new sand carpet platforms, installation of cricket wickets and training lights for this community’s active recreation participants.

35.       Work has continued on the John Walker Promenade, the main shared pathway running through the park; the development of a shelter for walkers has been completed and a new public toilet changing facility will be completed in 2017.

Auckland’s First World War Heritage Trail

36.       This trail commemorates a selection of sites from Wellsford to Waiuku that were used during the First World War. It focuses on the experiences of those on the home front.

37.       The 56 sites on the trail, many of which are on local parks, reflect the themes of this commemorative period including going to war; training, administration and defence; the home front; the economic war effort; opposition to the war and enemy aliens and rehabilitation and remembrance.

38.       As well as on-site interpretive signage and markers, a brochure and online information was developed.

Enterprise booking system

39.       This system is being introduced across Auckland Council with a view to having a centralised system for all council bookings. Sports parks have introduced the system over the last few months and regional parks will be included over the coming months.

Takapuna Beach Playground

40.       The Takapuna Beach all abilities playground was opened officially on 14 August, to local and national media attention.  The playground was completed due to the generosity of local benefactors, Jackie and Chris Reeves, who underwrote the project, in association with The Takapuna Beach Playground Trust.

41.       A number of local businesses, sponsors and private donors also contributed to the success of this project.  Experts in the field of disability playgrounds consider it to be a model example of best practice.  This project can be considered a flagship of Community Empowerment. Supported by local board funding, dedicated staff and consultants have been working hard for almost two years to facilitate this excellent outcome.

Parrs Park playground, Oratia

42.       Parrs Park is a highly visited quality park with multiple sports fields and the first publicly owned artificial sports field in the region.  The playground was upgraded in August 2014 to a destination facility that celebrates the area’s orcharding history. It offers play for all ages with sand and water play, a challenging high tower with a long slide and a twisting slide, and several swing experiences.

Tui Glen Reserve playground, Henderson

43.       Tui Glen Reserve is in close proximity to West Wave Aquatic Centre and provides important linkages to Henderson town centre.  The park was fully activated by the construction of Tree Tops Playspace in August 2013.  The playground provides a dual flying fox, three linked climbing towers with high slides and a crow’s nest climbing frame.

Te Ara Hura walkway – Waiheke Island

44.       Officially opened in November 2015, Te Ara Hura – which means ‘the discovery path’ is a 100km walking trail designed to help people discover the real Waiheke, one step at a time.  It links coastal tracks and bush trails with back country roads to create up to seven days of walking from the headlands around Matiatia, through the beaches and baches of the northern coastline around the far end and into the forest heart of the island.




Auckland Cemeteries Demand and Capacity Modelling project

45.       This project analysed the spatial alignment of cemetery facility capacity and demand to provide an evidence base around where and when gaps in provision will occur. This analysis was then used to provide recommendations for an investment programme for cemeteries.

Development of the Cemeteries

46.       The Western Block at Manukau Memorial Gardens was completed in 2015/16 and will provide another 20 years of capacity for the southern Auckland area.  The detailed planning and design for new burial subdivision at North Shore Memorial Park has been completed.  The feasibility of further development of burial provision at Waikumete has been assessed against the Proposed Unitary Plan and informed by the recently completed Waikumete Cemetery Management Plan.

47.       Public engagement with development projects, the opening of the Waikumete Children’s Cemetery, and open days have been successful in understanding the contemporary needs of Auckland’s diverse community.

ISO9001 accreditation

48.       Manukau Memorial Gardens and North Shore Memorial Park has continued to achieve this accreditation, whilst Waikumete has recently achieved accreditation.

Regional Cemetery Management System.

49.       The business case has been approved for this project with delivery planned for 2016/17. The system will ensure that records for the existing and future interments at council cemeteries will be available for future generations. This will enable the cemetery team to provide an enhanced customer experience and ensure records are stored in a central location.

Regional Parks

50th anniversary of regional parks

50.       This celebration began at Wenderholm in December 2015 with the 50th anniversary of      Auckland’s first regional park. The event was attended by Mayor Len Brown and people     associated with the early establishment of the regional park. Other activities during the           anniversary year included ‘The Big Campout’ and other volunteer celebrations.


Atiu Creek

51.       A pou dedication ceremony was held with two new pou kaitiaki installed in June 2016.

Long Bay Restaurant

52.       This development was halted indefinitely following the uncovering of twenty eight koiwi on            the site. Staff worked closely with mana whenua throughout the process of archaeological excavation and the re-interment of the discovered koiwi.

Tawharanui and Shakespear Open Sanctuary

53.       Takahē were first released into the Open Sanctuary at Tawharanui Regional Park in 2014. The population is thriving and has been topped up with additional birds.

54.       North Island robins, or toutouwai were released into the Open Sanctuary at Shakespear Regional Park in early 2016.

Hunua Ranges

55.       The Hunua kōkako recovery project celebrated 20 years of a successful partnership with the Department of Conservation and volunteers, and a breeding programme that has grown to 60 pairs.

Waitawa Regional Park

56.       The park was opened 2014 and includes best practice examples of interpretation telling the story of the park’s Māori history, a 1950s holiday destination and site for manufacturing explosives.   Removal of an old pine plantation has made way for the planting of over 100,000 native trees.

57.       The park also now boasts 14 km of mountain bike track, 20 km of walking track, a horse park area and riding tracks and the fishing wharf has been reopened. The refurbished Waitawa Bach also opened for booking.

Infrastructure developed across the regional park network

58.       The infrastructure installed will support the delivery of mountain biking experiences at Atiu Creek and Waitawa and the Hunua Ranges; horse riding facilities developed at Awhitu, Atiu Creek and Waitawa; orienteering courses developed at Atiu Creek, Duder, Mahurangi, Shakespear, Waharau and Karamatura; disk golf (NZ Disk Gold Championships) at Waitawa and Pae o te rangi (Waitakere Ranges).

Park/Land acquisitions

59.       There have been a number of land acquisitions in the Parks portfolio including:

·    217 hectares at Te Arai

·    78 hectares adjacent to Te Rau Puriri Regional Park

·    80 hectares at Piha and Karekare

·    18 hectare Heritage Protection Zone at Long Bay Regional Park

·    20 hectares of a conservation block at Mahurangi East

·    83 hectares at the Glenfern sanctuary on Great Barrier Island.

Auckland Botanic Gardens: Visitor engagement

60.       An upgrade of the website (aucklandbotanicgardens.co.nz) has seen growth in website use of 42 per cent on 2014/15. This is supported by growth in followers on social media channels that are being used to profile the work of the gardens and reach out to supporters.. Increased profile has also been achieved through various television and radio appearances and delivery of presentations at national conferences as well as representation on committees of national organisations.

Auckland Botanic Gardens: Volunteer programme.

61.       This programme has grown by 52 per cent in the past three years from 4913 hours in 2013/14 to 7457 hours in 2015/16. Areas of research and visitor service delivery support are the areas of strongest growth and are reflective of the development of both the research partnerships and event and engagement services delivered at the Gardens.

Auckland Botanic Gardens: Education programme.

62.       Auckland Botanic Gardens has seen a growth in schools attending the Learning Through Experience programme, with 9533 students visiting in 2015/16 and also increased uptake of community engagement activity through school holiday programmes, workshops, walks and talks.

Auckland Botanic Gardens: Horticulture.

63.       Horticultural improvements were supported by the completion of the Plant Collection Guidelines in 2014/15 and the addition of a significant  aloe collection of 350 different species.  The nursery at the Auckland Botanic Gardens achieved certification in nursery biosecurity to ensure the risk of transferring plant diseases and pets to regional parks is minimised.

Significant events across parks

64.       Sculpture in the Gardens held at the Auckland Botanic Gardens during November 2013 to February 2014 and November 2015 to March 2016 where between 320,000 and 350,000 visitors attended each event.

65.       Eye on Nature has 1400 children attending the schools days each year at the Auckland Botanic Gardens and family event attendance has grown from 6000 in 2014/15 to over 10,000 in 2015/16.

66.       Ambury Farm Day is held each October with the 2015 drawing 36,000 people and a 89 per cent zero waste result.

67.       Splore annual music and arts festival is held at Tapapakanga Regional Park with the February 2016 event hosting 8,000 visitors over three days.

68.       FIFA Under 20 World Cup – held during May and June 2015 on a number of council park training venues.

69.       Auckland Domain – the flowering of the ‘Amorphophallus titanum (also known as the corpse flower) flowered in November 2013 and June 2015 attracting thousands of visitors to the Auckland Domain Wintergarden..

Volunteers and partnerships

70.       Regional parks have started two new partnership groups with the Friends of Hunua Ranges and Friends of the Ambury Farm and Foreshore. They have continued to nurture relationships with groups such as Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society Inc (TOSSI), Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Inc (SOSSI), Ark in the Park, the Hunua Kōkako Recovery Project and various others.

71.       The ‘Kaitiaki mana whenua ranger trainee programme’ ran successfully in southern regional parks for a six month period with four trainees during 2015/16. This programme grew out of a collaborative approach to iwi engagement during the Hunua Ranges pest control (1080) programme.


72.       The Auckland Botanic Gardens has established many research partnerships including with Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust (MBCT) , University of Auckland and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Friends of the Auckland Botanic Gardens and the New Zealand Camellia Society. 

73.       These partnerships have enabled research to be undertaken in areas such as sustainable meadows, camellia petal blight, kauri dieback and other sustainable horticultural initiatives like organic gardening practices.

74.       At the Auckland Botanic Gardens a partnership Memorandum of Understanding has been drawn up with the Department of Conservation and Botanic Gardens Association of New Zealand (BGANZ) for ex-situ plant conservation.

75.       A total of 172,522 volunteer hours for 2015/16 were spent across all parks helping to deliver on parks’ outcomes.

Awards across Parks

Albany Lakes Civic Park

76.       The winner of the New Zealand Recreation Association Outstanding Park Award 2015. This prestigious award recognises the innovative design of this park, which integrates stormwater ponds within the park to create a vibrant and exciting open space.


Myers Park Upgrade Stage 1

77.       This new destination playground, with a new entrance and wayfinding signage, new lighting and CCTV, was awarded a Resene Total Colour Master Nightingale Award and Resene Total Colour Landscape Award.

Waterview Reserve playground development.

78.       The consultation, design and development of a new destination playground at Waterview Reserve, which was delivered as part of the SH20 development of the Waterview area, was a New Zealand Planning Institute 2016 award winner for Best Practice in Consultation and Participation Strategies and Processes.

Green Flag Awards®

79.       Originally set up in the UK, the Green Flag Award® scheme recognises and rewards the very best public green spaces internationally. A total of nine awards were achieved across parks including four local parks (Olympic Park, Parrs Park, Taipari Strand and Sanders Reserve), four regional parks (Long Bay, Tawharanui, Ambury and Whakanewha) and Waikumete Cemetery – the first cemetery to achieve a Green Flag Award in the southern hemisphere.

Hunua Project

80.       The Hunua Ranges pest management (1080) programme was a highly successful interdepartmental collaboration project that has been recognised with a Local Government New Zealand award for environmental impact.

81.       The support of mana whenua with the pest control  and monitoring programme provided opportunities for tangata whenua to strengthen their connection to the land, to provide for their hauora (long term wellbeing) and to be involved in in the park management processes in ways which have particular regard to the practical expression of kaitiakitanga.

82.       The successful application of 1080 has reduced the rat and possum population to lowest-ever levels. As well as contributing to a boom in the kōkako population, this project has facilitated the possibility of reintroduction of other species such as the brown kiwi.

Auckland Botanic Gardens

83.       Implementation of the Auckland Council Disability Operational Action Plan has led to a silver accreditation being awarded to the Auckland Botanic Gardens by Be. Accessible in acknowledgement of the great advances made in the accessibility space.


Auckland Domain

84.       On 22 August 2013, the Governing Body resolved that decision making for Auckland Domain would be geographically split, with the Waitematā Local Board being allocated responsibility for the playing fields and two community recreational leases (Auckland Bowling Club and Parnell Tennis Club), and the balance of land within Auckland Domain being allocated to the Parks, Recreation and Sport Committee.

85.       Given the challenges associated with split governance and many activities happening across the Domain a working party was established and this later evolved into the Auckland Domain Committee.  The first meeting of the Auckland Domain Committee was held on 15 August 2015.  It is a unique decision making model and an excellent opportunity for local board members and councillors to work together to determine the future of Auckland’s oldest and most sizable park in close proximity to the CBD. Several significant achievements have been clocked up since the establishment of the committee, including:

Master Plan

86.       In July 2016 a new Master Plan for Auckland Domain was adopted.  This followed a five year effort since it was evident, soon after amalgamation, that there were many competing demands that could erode the value of the Domain and there was an opportunity to enhance the accessibility of the Domain.  Significant shifts signalled under the plan are – opening up the Kari Street area as public parkland and a space for events, play and respite, consolidating car parking while increasing pedestrian and cycle access and increasing public transport access, enhancing the natural playspace and telling the stories of the Domain.

Auckland Domain tree plan and events guidelines

87.       The tree plan was adopted providing a framework for management and ongoing enhancement of the significant tree asset in the Domain.  An events guideline was also adopted to provide clarity and support for the increasing demand for events on the Domain.

Renewal/upgrade projects

88.       Significant renewal/upgrade projects to restore heritage icons in the Domain to their former glory, included:

·    The brick by brick rebuild of the wall surrounding the Wintergarden which was collapsing and the cleaning and restoration of the Temperate House. 

·    The complete rebuild of the Watson’s Bequest reflection pond which re-opened after a two year long project in May 2016.  The original pond and associated statues were tendered in 1954 and officially unveiled on 19 October 1955. They were a bequest from Alexander Richard Dickey Watson (hence the area is commonly referred to as Watson’s Bequest). Mr Watson was born in, and for many years was a resident of, Auckland. The bequest and associated sculpture commemorated the first 100 years of the history of the city of Auckland. The pond was designed by Tibor Donnor, the significant Auckland City Council architect and the stonework was built by Scarborough Bros of Scarborough Terrace fame. The statue consists of three figures representing Auckland finding its strength, wisdom, and fertility. The pond was described as a free form modernist influenced pond to create a setting for the statues and includes and elaborate mosaic. The rebuild was extensive as the pond lining had been significantly damaged by tree roots so the mosaic tiles and entire base of the pond was rebuilt with great care of attention paid to the original design.




Watsons bequest in 1964


The Auckland Lantern Festival

89.       This was held in the Auckland Domain for the first time from 18-21 February 2016.  With an estimated 150,000 people attending the Domain attracted a lot more attendees and stretched the park to its limit but was a much loved event showing off the magnificence of the mature trees and introducing a lot of Aucklanders to Watson’s Bequest and the open spaces beyond.



90.       As previously mentioned the Wintergarden team has been engaging a number of Aucklanders with thousands flocking to the second flowering of Amorphophallus titanum (titan arum) or corpse flower. They have also been developing an active Facebook page and OurAuckland has run regular ’Flower of the Month’ features.


Professional accreditation

91.       Two members of the Parks team (Mark Bowater and Jane Aickin) achieved the New Zealand Recreation Association Accredited Recreational Professional (ARPro) certification. This accreditation is to recognise an individual’s standard of professional attainment within the recreation profession.

Sportsfield Capacity Development programme (SFCD)/Sport Infrastructure Development programme

92.       During the last three years (2013/14 to 2015/16) of the SFCD programme the council has invested $62.9 million in the region’s sports fields, on capacity increase and supporting infrastructure projects, and a further $13.8 million on asset renewals.

93.       This three year investment delivered an additional 641 playing hours per week of which 253.5 playing hours were provided by regionally / growth funded SFCD projects and the balance by Long-term Plan or local board funded projects.

Summary:  SFCD Programme Investment FY 14 to FY16





3 Year Total

Total funding





Capacity increase hours/week





SFCD Regional fund / growth





Long-term Plan / local board fund





Total capacity added






94.       The three year investment delivered:

·    Seven artificial turf fields plus floodlights

·    One hybrid turf field (still to be completed)

·    41.25 new sand carpet fields

·    One field sand slit

·    34.75 fields floodlights

·    Eight new soil fields

·    30 fields irrigation

·    Two  fields drainage improvement

·      Two new toilets blocks plus a contribution to one new set of toilets and changing rooms.

95.       Significant projects during the last three years include:

·   Two artificial turfs at Ashley Reserve in Long Bay

·   One artificial turf at Greville Park in Forrest Hill

·   One and a half artificial turfs at QBE Stadium in Albany

·   Development of a new sports park at Opaheke Reserve in Papakura

·      Extension of Metro Park in Orewa.

2015/16 innovation

96.       Research and innovation has been a priority and in 2015/16 focused on grass growth with the aim of lowering costs and reducing the time fields are out of play following upgrades or renewal.  Three successful trials were undertaken:

·    The use of humic acid, a natural fertiliser, resulted in increased grass growth and reduced the time the fields were out of play by about a month.

·    Growing couch grass for re-location and re-turfing instead of stolonising provided time and cost benefits with fields playable within two weeks rather than several months.

·      Establishing couch grass by seeding rather than stolonising is providing promising results for earlier grass establishment.

·    The use of LED floodlighting has been investigated.  This is expected to provide operational benefits but will not be suitable for all sites.

97.       Equity in field provision across clubs is a focus.  A Needs Assessment Calculator (NAC) has been developed to inform decisions on field allocations to ensure there is equitable provision across clubs of fields for training, including training under floodlights.  Further research and innovation undertaken during the three year period included a number of key projects:

·    Extensive research on the impact of the rubber infill used on artificial turfs on surface and air temperature, ambient air quality, off-gassing and impact on stormwater quality.

·    Investigation into alternate infill materials for artificial turf.

·    Trial of fibre reinforced technology with sand carpet overlay.

·    Partnering with Infrastructure and Environmental Services to undertake research on the impact of stormwater on parks and parks on stormwater.

·      Upskilling staff to carry out the sand carpet field performance and condition testing which informs the renewals programme.


98.       The last three years has seen a significant evolution of Auckland Council’s formal co-governance partnerships with mana whenua and its associated commitment to these partnerships.  Highlights include:

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Reserves Board

·      In 2012 Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei received title to 34 hectares of parkland and, at the same time, the co-governance partnership between Auckland Council and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei expanded to include responsibility for Pourewa Creek Recreation Reserve.  A new management plan was developed for this site and adopted in August 2016.



·    In March 2013 a new maintenance depot was built on the Whenua Rangatira, with funding from Auckland Council.  It is a sustainable building with solar panels on the roof and composting toilets.  It has become a hive of activity for community based ecological restoration and home to an increasing number of whanau members employed by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei with funding support (for contract maintenance of the park) coming from Auckland Council.  With its green walls and active community use it has bought life to the Whenua Rangatira. 


·    In 2016 Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei celebrates 25 years of co-governance and a video has been created capturing this story and the significant progress made since the land was returned to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and the partnership with Auckland Council commenced.

Tūpuna Maunga

·    2014 saw the landmark Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Deed passed into law.  As part of this Treaty of Waitangi settlement, 14 Tūpuna Maunga were returned to the 13 Mana Whenua iwi and hapū of Auckland, marking an important milestone in the restoration of these iconic taonga (treasures) and a new co-governance era for Auckland Council and ngā mana whenua.

·    Following the establishment of the Maunga Authority, the co-governance entity overseeing the 14 Tūpuna Maunga, great progress has been made with four significant milestones highlighted below:

·    In 2015/16 vehicle access to the tihi (summit) of Maungawhau Mt Eden was Restricted, opening up the roads to pedestrian access.  The project was long envisioned but it wasn’t until the establishment and collective agreement of the Maunga Authority that the vision could be realised.  The feedback from visitors and locals has been very positive and well supported.


·    In February 2016  the Maunga Authority adopted a draft Integrated Management Plan (IMP).  This was accompanied by the adoption of a new visual identity, creating a collective and unique identity for the maunga.  In June 2016 the final IMP in was adopted following a public hearing.



·          The Tūpuna Maunga Authority invited all of Auckland to participate in a dawn planting ceremony to mark the return of a tree to the tihi of Maungakiekie One Tree Hill. On the spot where the previous single tree stood, a small grove of three young tōtara and six young pohutukawa along with kiekie and a shelter-band of native shrubs were planted. Over the course of several years a process of natural selection will see the stronger trees emerge. The aim is that after a decade there is a single pohutukawa or tōtara standing on the tihi.


Parakai Reserves Board

99.       With the passing of the Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara Claims Settlement Act 2013, the Parakai Recreation Reserve Board came into being.  The inaugural meeting was held on 16 August 2013.  The Parakai Recreation Reserves (approximately 18.4 hectares) is vested jointly in Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara and the Auckland Council so presents a slightly different co-governance model than others.  The Parakai Recreation Reserve Board has been busy since its inception developing vision/concept and embarking on a management plan


Local board views and implications

100.   There has been no specific engagement with local boards in relation to this update report. Programmes and initiatives associated with Local and Sports Parks, together with Pools and Leisure are led by Local Boards.  Local Boards are consulted with respect to specific operational aspects of Regional Parks and Cemeteries within their District.

Māori impact statement

101.   There has been no specific engagement with Māori in relation to this update report.  The report briefly summarises the status of initiatives and projects which are however, on an individual basis, the subject of engagement with Māori.


102.   No issues.



There are no attachments for this report.     



Mace Ward - General Manager Parks, Sports and Recreation


Ian Maxwell - Director Community Services