Waikato towns vie for the ti­tle of most beau­ti­ful small town

Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

It’s a bat­tle for the ti­tle of New Zealand’s most beau­ti­ful town be­tween two of the North Is­land’s coastal des­ti­na­tions.

Waihi and Raglan were se­lected as the two na­tional fi­nal­ists for Most Beau­ti­ful Small Town for this year’s Beau­ti­ful Awards on Au­gust 18.

The Beau­ti­ful Awards cel­e­brate en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­cel­lence and recog­nise pos­i­tive ac­tions taken by com­mu­ni­ties, busi­nesses, schools, in­di­vid­u­als and coun­cils in lo­cal and ur­ban ar­eas to pro­tect and en­hance their lo­cal en­vi­ron­ments.

The town or city that scores high­est in the com­mu­nity beau­ti­fi­ca­tion cat­e­gory will win a com­mis­sioned mu­ral, de­signed and painted by Auck­land artist Flox, for their lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Raglan Ward Coun­cil­lor Lisa Thom­son said any­one who spends time in Raglan un­der­stands how beau­ti­ful the town is.

“It’s the peo­ple who make it a truly beau­ti­ful place. Our com­mu­nity is proudly pro­tec­tive of the whenua [land] and Raglan’s com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives, and its sus­tain­abil­ity-fo­cused in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses show it’s a real town ef­fort to keep Raglan beau­ti­ful,” Ms Thom­son said.

Waihi, which is vy­ing for the ti­tle, has been se­lected for be­ing proac­tive with a num­ber of lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tally and sus­tain­ably fo­cused ini­tia­tives.

The lo­cal group, Keep Waihi Beau­ti­ful, has run a num­ber of town-wide clean-up events where res­i­dents help to re­move lit­ter from pub­lic spa­ces.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion has also part­nered with Waihi Beach artist Shane Walker and Waihi Col­lege stu­dents to re­move graf­fiti on the A&P Shed along State High­way 2 and re­place it with ur­ban art.

Waihi is not only a fi­nal­ist in the Most Beau­ti­ful Small Town cat­e­gory. The re­gion also fea­tures as a fi­nal­ist in the Com­mu­nity and In­di­vid­ual cat­e­gories.

Karanga­hake restau­rant The Falls Re­treat is also a con­tender for the Most Sus­tain­able Small Busi­ness Award.

The award recog­nises New Zealand busi­nesses with fewer than 20 staff which have achieved ex­tra­or­di­nary results through an en­vi­ron­men­tal or sus­tain­abil­ity project in the past year.

Photo / Sup­plied

Will Raglan win the ti­tle of New Zealand’s most beau­ti­ful small town?

Photo / Melanie Camoin

Or can Waihi beat its west coast ri­val to the ti­tle?

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