Could Whanganui claim to be New Zealand's most beautiful city?

Whanganui District councillors certainly think so and have called for the city to have a shot for the title at the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards.

Councillors have asked staff to think about preparing a bid for 2019.

"There's kudos to be gained from it and I think that styling yourself as New Zealand's most beautiful town certainly has the ability to lift your profile," councillor Rob Vinsen said.

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"It's a token you can use for quite a period of time and it always gains national publicity."

Whanganui's Virginia Lake
Whanganui's Virginia Lake

Whanganui organisations have won and been finalists in minor categories at previous Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards but councillor Helen Craig said the city should be going for the big overall one - Most Beautiful City.

"I want to win it as a town because I'm sick on Feilding winning it year after year and we're a lot prettier than them."

Feilding have famously won the most Beautiful Town award 16 times.

But in the current format where there are three size categories. Feilding falls into the large town category (population of 10,000 - 29,999) so would not be in the same race.

The Whanganui River
The Whanganui River

Whanganui would enter the Most Beautiful City category for places of more than 30,000 population.

That was most recently won by Masterton.

"I do think these are important," Craig said.

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The award recognises action that has been taken to protect and enhance local environments and look at things such as "waste minimisation, beautification projects, recycling and sustainable tourism".

The opening of Watt Fountain in 2017
The opening of Watt Fountain in 2017

The council's property and community services committee will now get regular updates on awards council could enter and corporate principal advisor Marianne Cavanagh said it was clear councillors were interested in the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Award.

She wasn't sure how much work it would take but said various organisations could contribute information.

Kowhai Park. Photo / Stuart Munro
Kowhai Park. Photo / Stuart Munro

Information provided could be refined by a smaller staff group, Cavanagh said.

"We wouldn't be sitting there starting from scratch on our own. There are obviously a lot of other projects under way and people have their specialist areas."

Councillor Philippa Baker-Hogan wanted any entry to be community driven.

Fun at Virgina Lake
Fun at Virgina Lake

"These things are much better when they come from the community up."