Master­ton, the most beau­ti­ful city in NZ

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - JACK BAR­LOW

Master­ton – the town whose short­list­ing for the na­tional Beau­ti­ful Awards be­mused even some of its own res­i­dents – has taken the big prize against spir­ited com­pe­ti­tion from Napier and Tau­ranga.

The judges of the Beau­ti­ful Awards, run by Keep New Zealand Beau­ti­ful, praised the Wairarapa town for its fo­cus on community projects.

‘‘Master­ton blew away the judges with their wide range of en­vi­ron­men­tal and her­itage con­ser­va­tion projects, and the strength of their community en­gage­ment with nu­mer­ous community groups work­ing hard to make Master­ton a safer and more beau­ti­ful community,’’ the judges said.

Feild­ing was named most beau­ti­ful large town and, in a dou­ble suc­cess for Wairarapa, Grey­town took out the small town cat­e­gory.

The Beau­ti­ful Awards seek to re­ward pos­i­tive ac­tions taken by com­mu­ni­ties, rather than be­ing a judg­ment on their architecture or nat­u­ral land­scape.

Keep New Zealand Beau­ti­ful chief ex­ec­u­tive Heather Saun­der­son said the awards were held to recog­nise all lev­els of community in­volve­ment.

‘‘The Beau­ti­ful Awards celebrate all con­tri­bu­tions great and small, from the most beau­ti­ful city, to the vol­un­teer who sin­gle­hand­edly col­lected over 700kg of rub­bish this year.

‘‘Th­ese awards recog­nise the places, busi­nesses and peo­ple who do the right thing day in and day out to Keep New Zealand Beauti- ful.’’

When news broke that Master­ton had reached the fi­nal along­side Napier and Tau­ranga, res­i­dents of the town – few call it a city – gave it a mixed re­ac­tion.

‘‘What do I think? I think you have to be bloody jok­ing,’’ Sue Ha­worth posted on the Wairarapa News Facebook page.

‘‘Have all the other cities in NZ been blown up and Master­ton is the only one left?’’ Ju­lia Pe­ters asked.

Master­ton Mayor Lyn Pat­ter­son said on re­ceiv­ing the award on Fri­day night: ‘‘There’s nat­u­ral beauty all around Master­ton, and some out­stand­ing parks and re­serves. But the most beau­ti­ful thing is our won­der­ful community. This award is for our peo­ple, and I’m proud to col­lect it on their be­half.’’

GEOFF WALKER

Hen­ley Lake, which im­pressed the Beau­ti­ful Awards judges, seen dur­ing the bal­loon fes­ti­val. Both Master­ton and Grey­town took out top prizes.

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