Taranaki has lost one environmental award but gained another.
The blue flags that once acknowledged the quality of Fitzroy, East End and Oakura beaches have been removed because of the new and complex award criteria.
The parks manager for the New Plymouth District Council, Mark Bruhn, said the quality of local beaches and water had not deteriorated, but applying for the award for another year would not be worth the effort.
However, New Plymouth's Pukekura Park impressed the International Parks Forum, and has been accredited with a green flag.
Pukekura Park was one of 23 in Australasia and 16 in New Zealand to receive the award for 2014.
The award rates the management, condition and appearance of parks, through site visits and a look at management documents.
"The good thing about the green flag is they've offered us an international benchmark and peer review," Mr Bruhn said. "They've given us positive and constructive feedback."
Mr Bruhn said the feedback would help make any necessary changes and improvements.
"As locals we all know what a great park we have, but it's fantastic to have this recognised by an external body of such standing as the Parks Forum."
The council will fly the flag for 2014, and will then be required to reapply next year for $1670.
The judges praised the maintenance of facilities, grounds and heritage buildings, as well as community engagement at the park.
The final comments noted "upon arrival the photogenic quality of park assets and their maintenance proudly announce ‘this a world class park of the highest calibre'."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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