South Island boasts NZ's most beautiful small town

Arrowtown has been named the most beautiful small town in New Zealand at last night’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful awards.

The awards celebrated individuals, businesses, communities, schools, and the country’s most beautiful towns and cities — and the town on the banks of the Arrow River beat Waiheke for most beautiful small town at a virtual awards ceremony this evening hosted by Pio Terei.

For its sustainability, environmental excellence and community beautification Hastings was the big winner on the night as it was named towns and cities supreme winner.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful chief executive Heather Saunderson and award-winning journalist and wellness expert Rachel Grunwell made the selections on 13 official awards over five categories.

‘‘This year Covid-19 has shifted the global landscape, and its long-term effects remain unclear. Celebrating environmental excellence, small wins and beautiful behaviour, whether personal or professional, is now more important than ever,’’ Ms Saunderson said.

A panorama of stunning autumn colours in Arrowtown. PHOTO: Debbie Pettinger
A panorama of stunning autumn colours in Arrowtown. PHOTO: Debbie Pettinger

‘‘Out of all the towns and cities we visited, Hastings ranked the highest for community beautification but also excelled across every other criteria, making it the clear winner of the supreme award.’’

Hastings won a community mural valued up to $10,000.

The Most Beautiful Large City, Hamilton, and the Most Beautiful Small City, Whanganui, were both river cities, with a huge focus on the arts and beautification, and both had well established top-of-the-line recycling facilities, she said.

The Most Beautiful Large Town went to supreme winner Hastings and Most Beautiful Small Town went to Arrowtown.

Judge Rachel Grunwell said the range of initiatives community groups were doing showed ‘‘no matter how big or small, every effort in minimising litter in New Zealand is important’’.

‘‘And I personally find it very inspiring,’’ Ms Grunwell said. 

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