Hastings has been crowned New Zealand's most beautiful town and also the supreme winner at the 2020 Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards tonight.
The awards have run annually since 1972, and inspire, recognise and honour those individuals, businesses, community groups, towns and cities who strive to Keep New Zealand beautiful.
Hastings did not only take first place as New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Large Town - it was also crowned the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards Supreme Winner of 2020, winning a community mural valued up to $10,000.
“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,” said Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO Heather Saunderson.
The winner of the hotly contested Most Beautiful City was shared this year, with Hamilton being awarded Most Beautiful Large City and Whanganui Most Beautiful Small City.
“This is absolutely fantastic; these awards recognise the amazing efforts of all of our people, from our volunteers, staff and contractors, to our councillors and everyone in all of our communities,” said Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst.
“I’m so excited and very proud of our district – not only do we know we are beautiful; but so does the whole of New Zealand!”
The awards, which are focused on sustainable practices and environmental excellence that keep urban spaces beautiful, were announced this evening.
Thirteen category winners were announced after which Hastings was named the Supreme Winner.
The awards ceremony was to have been held in Auckland, however, because of complications due to Covid-19 at the time of planning, the ceremony was moved online.
Mrs Hazlehurst was at the Flaxmere Night Market and watched the awards during the event. “It has been a fantastic day – Flaxmere’s first night market with amazing entertainment and a fabulous family atmosphere, and now this!”
Receiving the Supreme Award on top of the Most Beautiful Large Town Award was a real honour, she said “we are blessed to have beautiful natural spaces and an outstanding climate but we also know that it takes a great deal of effort by our community and our Council to keep it that way."