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Taupo wins Keep New Zealand Beautiful large town award

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Taupō is now officially the ‘most beautiful large town’ in the country after winning its category ahead of its rival Timaru at the Keep New Zealand Beautiful annual awards on Friday night.

Mayor David Trewavas collected the award and said winning the prestigious title was testament to a real community effort and a credit to all involved.

"We as a council have worked hard to proactively promote a number of initiatives over the past 12 months and volunteer groups like Tidy Taupo, Greening Taupo and Boomerang Bags have really put us on the map for beautifying our environment," he said. "This award is a great indication of the hard work of both our Council and community to keep Taupō beautiful. It’s all about looking after the places we love."

Keep New Zealand Beautiful chief executive Heather Saunderson said that Taupō really blew the judges away when they visited in August. "The strong community spirit was evident in each of the litter prevention, recycling and community beautification projects we visited. It’s obvious that the people of Taupō are proud of their town, and that the Council is working hard to help ensure the beauty of this special area is protected," she said.

Many additional community and Council initiatives were included in the award application. Examples included:

- Greening Taupō’s popular planting days

- The annual ‘Graffiato’ street art festival

- Beautification of urban spaces such as intersections and footpaths

- Tidy Taupō and other litter pick-up events

- Increased protection of lake water quality through improved wastewater and stormwater filtering systems, and;

- The Otumuheke Stream redevelopment

Each year the Keep New Zealand Beautiful awards celebrate environmental initiatives from across the country, with awards for individuals, communities, businesses and schools. Some of the quirkier awards include best loo and best street.

Finalists are judged across four areas: litter prevention and waste minimisation, community beautification, recycling projects and sustainable tourism. This year the judging panel included NZ House and Garden Editor Sally Duggan, street artist FLOX and Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO Heather Saunderson.

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