Waihi is a finalist for the second year in a row for the title of Most Beautiful Small Town in the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards.
Narrowly missing out last year to Raglan, Waihi now has a second chance at taking the national title.
The Hauraki District town was selected as a finalist this year as a result of the community’s ongoing effort to keep the town clean and for implementing a waste minimisation plan aimed at reducing waste sent to landfill by 13 per cent by 2020.
The Falls Retreat was also a highlight in the application, because of its Paddock To Plate Educational Visits for school children and gardening workshops.
The panel was also impressed with the Keep Waihi Beautiful Student Committee’s efforts to reduce waste in schools and Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga’s Worm Farms in Schools initiative.
An outstanding effort
Mayor Tregidga said the Waihi community’s efforts were outstanding.
“It’s no wonder Waihi has been named finalist again, the focus on town cleanups and dedication to waste minimisation has been fantastic,” he said.
“Congratulations to all those involved, we look forward to the results and hope Waihi can take away the top award this year.”
The Beautiful Awards, run by Keep New Zealand Beautiful, aim to celebrate environmental excellence exemplified by communities, businesses, schools and individuals in New Zealand.
There are six finalists across three location-based categories: Most Beautiful Small Town, Most Beautiful Large Town and Most Beautiful City.
Each finalist needs to demonstrate sustainable and environmentally-conscious behaviours in litter prevention and waste minimisation, community beautification, recycling projects and sustainable tourism.
The other finalist for Most Beautiful Small Town this year is Hanmer Springs. Cambridge and Pukekohe are finalists for Most Beautiful Large Town and Hutt City and Whanganui are finalists for Most Beautiful City.
High calibre entries
Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO Heather Saunderson says the calibre of entries this year has been fantastic, and all of the finalists have worked hard to secure a spot in the top six.
“It’s great to see such amazing environmental initiatives across some of New Zealand’s beautiful towns and cities,” she said.
“We are so pleased to see the great work from these regions who are striving to create sustainable and vibrant communities.”
The last phase of judging will involve the Beautiful Awards judging panel visiting the finalist towns and cities from late August. The winners will be announced at the Beautiful Awards Gala Dinner in Dunedin on 24 October, 2019.