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Two towns target most beautiful

A cricket match in Greytown. PHOTO/FILE

JAKE BELESKI

[email protected]

If you’re a Masterton or Greytown resident and think you’re living in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, you could be right.

Both Masterton and Greytown were named as finalists for this year’s Beautiful Awards, which are run by Keep New Zealand Beautiful.

The awards recognise and celebrate positive actions taken by communities in local and urban areas to protect and enhance their local environments.

Masterton was named as a finalist in the Most Beautiful City (population over 20,000) category, and will be up against Napier and Tauranga.

Greytown is in the running for the Most Beautiful Small Town (population under 5000) title, and will compete with Raglan and Whirinaki.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson will attend the awards ceremony, and said being named as a finalist was “really exciting”.

“We put together a promotional video and we really concentrated on the natural beauty of our region, and on community-led council-facilitated projects like the Lansdowne Shopping Centre.

“It was all about our natural beauty, and emphasising what a beautiful and great community we have.”

The application process involved submitting information on environmental action, community beautification, heritage conservation, community engagement, and historical beauty and tourism.

Each entry also had to put together a visual tour, made up of photos and/or video, of their town which illustrated the results of the hard work.

It is unknown how many entries there were in each category.

Masterton’s video was made by Wairarapa TV, and Mrs Patterson said their entry was also about cultural diversity.

“It’s about preserving our heritage and all of those sorts of things.

“It’s really exciting that our recreation trails, parks and reserves are getting that sort of recognition.”

Leigh Hay, chair of the Greytown Community Board, said their submission was a collaborative project with plenty of input from the community.

“We were limited to 300 words for each written submission, and we almost had too many projects to write about.

“We supplied photographic evidence in a PowerPoint presentation, and had a video made as well.”

Letters of support from South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier, Destination Wairarapa, and visitors to the region had helped take their submission to another level.

“The quote ‘it’s in our DNA’ was a big part of our submission,” she said.

“Everybody here just has so much passion and pride for our region.”

Winning the award would provide an opportunity to promote Greytown further, and would also have a positive effect on tourism and people looking to move to the region, she said.

“We have incredible facilities, which you would normally only see in a larger town.

“We have great sports clubs, schools and churches — there’s a real sense of community and pride.”

She will be attending the awards ceremony with Mrs Napier.

Hastings won most beautiful city in 2015, when there were only three entries in the category.

Feilding has been a serial winner in the large town category (population over 5000), including in 2016.

This year’s ceremony will be held at Craggy Range winery in Hawke’s Bay on October 13.

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