Cambridge’s Best Street win in the 2020 Keep New Zealand Beautiful (KNZB) awards has got Destination Cambridge’s CEO and chairman respectively, Miff Macdiarmid and Philip Coles, beaming broadly.
Miff said: “We are delighted to win the Best Street award. It’s a pretty special place for our locals and visitors and showcases not just the beauty and heritage of Cambridge, but the spirit of our town. It is also a focal point for many community activities.”
An equally elated Philip said he was ‘thrilled’. “This is really a community award that represents the stunning beauty of our town, and those who help maintain it.” He noted the efforts of the Waipā District Council parks and services staff who maintained the plantings along Victoria St, and the pre-entry promotional videos done for the awards by Michal Jeans.
Victoria Street, stretching from Taylor Street to the high-level Victoria Bridge was recognised at a virtual awards ceremony on October 29 for its street appeal, cleanliness and sense of community pride. It was acknowledged for being people-centric, with a speed limit of 40km/h, cycle-friendly lanes, several pedestrian crossings, outdoor dining and regular markets and events. Judges noted its environmental and beautification initiatives.
Miff said Cambridge’s entry referenced Victoria Street’s plantings, heritage buildings, dual carriageway, the vibrancy of the area’s cafes, restaurants and boutique shops, and its integration with the community through activities like yarn-bombing, the Christmas Parade, markets, Anzac Day and Armistice parades, sporting, cycling and other events.
Council’s strategy and community services group manager, Debbie Lascelles said: “The council parks and reserves team, as well as community volunteers, work hard to maintain, enhance and beautify Victoria Street, so we are delighted to be recognised in these national awards.”
KNZB chief executive Heather Saunderson, and author and wellness expert Rachel Grunwell, spent a few hours here in September, when they toured the town accompanied by Miff and Philip. They were assessing the town for its 2020 entry for the Most Beautiful Large Town title, one Cambridge won in 2019 but which this year went to Hastings.
“Naturally, we’re disappointed at missing out on that, but four years as a finalist in that category, and having taken the title last year, is pretty good,” said Miff. “Hats off to Hastings, who must be doing some unique things to beat us! We’ve got a special town of volunteers, inspiring people and organisations, and want to make sure they are recognised … so we’ll be back!”
The winner of the Most Beautiful City was shared this year, with Hamilton taking the title of the Most Beautiful Large City, and Whanganui the Most Beautiful Small City.
The Most Beautiful Large Town award went to Hastings, and the Most Beautiful Small Town went to Arrowtown.