Hastings has done it again, making the finals in the 2021 Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards: Most Beautiful Small City.
It comes on the back of winning Most Beautiful Large Town and the Supreme Award in 2020. A change in KNZB criteria, based on population size, has put Hastings in the Small City category this year.
The awards have a strong environmental focus, judged on litter prevention and waste minimisation, recycling projects, sustainable tourism, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and community beautification.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the recognition “belongs to all of Hastings; everyone who works so hard to keep our piece of paradise beautiful.
“Together, we have done it again: our artists, our waste warriors, our litter legends, our tree planters, our recycling champions, our Council team and partners, our heritage building owners, and everyone who gets their litter in the bin! I am very proud of our community’s achievements.”
Keep New Zealand Beautiful said Hastings had been selected as a finalist “for its waste and litter prevention campaign which introduced two mascots – Luke the Litter Legend and Colin the Cheeky Chucker, creating a fun and engaging way for children to learn about litter. Hastings has also established an eco-committee, initiated a New Zealand-first analysis into the trees in their parks and reserves, and has a continued focus on sustainable tourism and community beautification”.
Mrs Hazlehurst said litter is one of the most difficult and environmentally damaging issues all councils have to deal with. “We know that here in Hastings every time it rains, street litter runs through the storm water system, into Te Karamu Stream and then out to sea. We are very focused on ensuring everyone understands this and takes personal responsibility for their rubbish.
“We’re working on changing the habits of a lifetime; getting strong messages out to our children to ensure they don’t grow up with a culture of littering, and that they pass the message on to the adults in their families.”
Hastings’ rubbish and recycling programme is also recognised. In its second year, properties that reduce the number of times they put their rubbish wheelie bins out will receive a rates rebate. “This is designed to encourage people to recycle everything they can to limit the amount of general rubbish going to landfill.”
Of course, beautifying Hastings’ central city spaces feature: the programme which assists heritage building owners to enhance the facades of their properties, new outdoor dining and gathering places, and enhanced pocket parks.
The submission celebrates the community care groups who turn out at weekends to plant trees and shrubs in Hastings parks and reserves, Waste Warriors who help people sort their rubbish correctly, event owners who are committed to reducing waste at their events, and artists who have added flair to the city through murals and sculptures.
The winners of the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards will be announced on October 28.
17 August 2021
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