Cambridge could very well become the Most Beautiful Town in New Zealand, according to the judges for the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards.
With the awards night coming up in October, judges Heather Saunderson and Michael Van de Elzen were in Cambridge last week to see the sights, taste the foods and meet the people that make Cambridge great.
“It’s probably more the people than anything else, people make a town,” said TV chef Michael. “It’s the giving back, it’s lovely. I’ve always loved Cambridge.”
Sauderson, CEO of Keep New Zealand Beautiful, said she thought Cambridge had a “really good chance of winning”. It is up against Pukekohe as a finalist.
“It’s always difficult when you’re judging, because there is no on-size-fits-all approach, I mean what Pukekohe’s doing will be a bit different to what Cambridge is doing, but there’s a real sense of community and civic pride here.”
During their tour on Thursday they visited the Cambridge Community Gardens, the Cambridge Tree Trust, the Lakewood development, and sustainable and successful businesses in town like Wholly Cow butchery, Over the Moon Deli and Alpha St Kitchen.
“I think for me Cambridge offers the best of both worlds to everyone, it caters to young people, to families, and what really stands out for me is Cambridge caters to the older demographic too, like providing wide concrete pathways so people restricted to mobility scooters are still able to do what they love to do,” said Saunderson.
“And it’s the volunteers too, like the community garden and the tree trust working in with the local schools. … It’s important to have that cross stimulation. And as one gentleman said to me this morning, they’re a family, they’re there for each other. That comes across very strongly here.”
The judges will spend the next few weeks visiting towns and cities across New Zealand that have made the finals, and their findings will be revealed at the awards night in Dunedin on October 24.