Whanganui has been named one of the world's 21 "intelligent communities" for the fifth consecutive year.

The title was conferred by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), an international think-tank which helps communities adapt to the demands of the broadband economy.

Mayor Hamish McDouall said it was outstanding that Whanganui has made the Smart21 group and was still the only New Zealand city that has received the accolade.

"We've continued to build on our past performances in the awards, with Whanganui reaching the Top7 global communities for the first time last year," Mr McDouall said.

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He said it meant Whanganui was being recognised alongside much larger communities which are also working to improve the quality of lives in their areas through the use of broadband and technology.

"It's about ensuring we have the right services and infrastructure in place to ensure we can connect with the world, improving business opportunities, education, health services and developing a knowledge workforce where everyone is confidently using digital technology."

He said the ranking was a tribute to former Mayor Annette Main's commitment to the development of Whanganui's broadband economy and the role she played in putting the district on the international stage through the Intelligent Community awards.

The Smart21 communities were selected from a group of nearly 400 entries and are all in contention for the prestigious designation of an Intelligent Community Top7, to be named in Taipei, Taiwan, in February.

The Smart21 were:

* Astana, Kazakhstan
* Chiayi City, Taiwan
* Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
* Grey County, Ontario, Canada
* Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
* Keelung City, Taiwan
* Knowle West, Bristol, United Kingdom
* Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
* Moscow, Russia
* Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
* New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
* Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
* Pickering, Ontario, Canada
* Prospect, South Australia, Australia
* Rochester, New York, USA
* Sarnia-Lambton, Ontario, Canada
* Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
* Tainan City, Taiwan
* Taoyuan, Taiwan
* Whanganui, New Zealand
* Yilan County, Taiwan