The Beautiful Awards 2021 have revealed their 25 most beautiful places in New Zealand, publishing their finalists for the sustainability awards.
From charming cities, towns and well-swept streets, the awards recognise places that Tidy Kiwis are proud to call home. There is even a category for 'Best Loo'.
With at least two finalists for each prize, the judges want to see a clean competition - basing their verdict on key areas such as litter prevention, community work, recycling, emissions and sustainable tourism.
Battling it out for the big prize - the Most Beautiful Big City - are Dunedin and Wellington.
Dunedin's planting initiatives won over judges for their net-zero by 2030 plan. An ambitious energy-efficient LED bulb replacement also cast the Otago city in a good light.
Wellington, however, was also in contention for their work to gear the capital more towards cyclists and away from cars.
For those who think "small is beautiful" - Foxton and Kaitāia are finalists for New Zealand's Most Beautiful Small Town.
Foxton was singled out for its dedication to sustainable tourism and restoring the destinations on the Manawatū River. The 'Kaitāia Artwalk' turned judges' heads as a collaboration between local iwi, artists and the town's business association.
Bottom of the pile but a public favourite, three of New Zealand's most beloved WCs are in contention for Most Beautiful Public Toilet.
The Southern Stars-inspired Leith Place Toilet in Tokoroa was a favourite for its striking appearance and grey-water usage. However there was competition from the Coromandel's Pepe Toilet in Tairua and - also making the long list - the long-drop Wairere Falls Toilet near Matamata.
There will also be an overall winner presented with a $10,000 commission mural painted by sponsor Resene in their local town or city.
"I'm delighted to be included in the judging panel for the Towns and Cities category this year and I'm very much looking forward to visiting the finalists to see their work around beautification and sustainability first-hand," says judge Jacqui Loates-Haver.
In their 49th year the Beautiful Awards are the country's longest-running sustainability awards.
Along with the most beautiful places nine finalists were announced for categories rewarding 'beautiful souls' for kind deeds. Young Legend, Local Hero and the coveted Tidy Kiwi of the year will be revealed on 28 October at the awards ceremony, the Beautiful Ball.
Auckland-based organisers the charity Keep New Zealand Beautiful say they will be working from home for the duration of Auckland's Level 4 lockdown. Packs for Clean up Week, 13-19 September, will be sent out once levels change.
New Zealand's most beautiful towns and cities
30,000 – 99,999 residents
10,000 – 29,999 residents
1,000 – 9,999 residents
Best Kiwi WCs
Leith Place Toilet – Tokoroa
Pepe Toilet – Tairua
Wairere Falls Toilet – Matamata
Broadway – Matamata
Hereford Street – Christchurch
McKay Street – Thames
Dudding Lake – Marton
Great Lake Pathway – Taupō
Jim Barker Playground – Otorohanga
Lake Huiputea – Otorohanga
Queens Park – Invercargill
Eco Action Nursery Trust – Christchurch
Te Whare Mahana Community Hub – Levin
Most sustainable Schools
Halfmoon Bay School Te Kura O Rakiura – Stewart Island
Kristin School – Auckland
Solway College – Masterton