Dominion Road first in southern hemisphere to be awarded Purple Flag, recognising excellence in managing the night-time economy
The Dominion Road Business District is celebrating after confirmation that it has become the first destination in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve Purple Flag status. The iconic commercial strip in Auckland, has been given the thumbs up to their proactive partnership approach to the management of nightlife based on criteria such as safety, diversity, and provision of an entertaining, enjoyable night out.
Purple Flag was launched in the UK in 2009 by the ACTM (Association of Town and City Management) as a robust accreditation with annual assessments. Today, over 100 destinations have been awarded it across Europe and the United Kingdom.
The path to accreditation has been long and challenging, only increasing Dominion Road’s Business Association’s delight at finally getting over the line. There are assessments of crime figures, patterns of graffiti, A&E admissions, patronage statistics, foot traffic plus consultations with police, local boards and organisations and much more. This is all followed by an in-person assessment (which took place in November last year) that observes all aspects of the destination for a full night. The process started in October 2019 and accreditation was received in February 2021.
Dominion Road Business Association Manager Gary Holmes says he is thrilled with the outcome and says that having Purple Flag accreditation will further help Dominion Road achieve its vision of being a ‘World within a street’. “We are looking forward to working collaboratively to continue to improve our night time economy, increase safety in the town centre at night and help put more money into the back pocket of our local businesses. We really want to thank everyone who helped us achieve this outcome, including neighbours, Eden Park, New Zealand Police, Albert-Eden Local Board and local businesses.”
Sarah Walker, Purple Flag Programme Manager says “It is really fantastic to have Dominion Road as part of the Purple Flag family. The assessors and panel were really impressed with the buy-in from the community, which shows a real commitment to the accreditation. We really look forward to growing the accreditation in New Zealand and through that process make a visible and real change in this town centre”.
“It is an extremely exciting time for Purple Flag” says Ojay McDonald, CEO of the Association of Town and City Management (UK) “Its success has been built on partnership, work, and ensuring that each location has the tools and teamwork to ensure a safe, diverse, and vibrant evening and night-time offer. We are very proud that Auckland has its first Purple Flag. We look forward to promoting and growing the accreditation across New Zealand.”
The announcement comes as interest in Purple Flag in the Southern Hemisphere grows, following the publication of the new 24 hour economy strategy for Sydney recognising Purple Flag as a key tool in the development of night time economies.
Other town centres and cities in New Zealand that are interested in improving their night time economy should contact the Dominion Road Business Association for more information.