Feilding has reclaimed its title as New Zealand’s most beautiful large town.
The Manawatu town won the title for the 15th time on October 18 at the Keep New Zealand Beautiful awards night, in which resident Alan Muntz also won the Tidy Kiwi award.
Keep Feilding Beautiful chairwoman Reena Wallis says the award was reflective of the town’s community spirit.
The Keep New Zealand Beautiful awards were stopped for a couple of years, which hindered Feilding’s chances of reclaiming its title since 2008.
When the awards started again, all towns and cities were in the same category and Wallis said they struggled to compete with cities like Dunedin.
The 2016 awards had a separate small town, large town, and city category.
Feilding’s Alan Muntz won the Tidy Kiwi award for his restoration of an overgrown lane behind Harrison’s Country Gardenworld along the Kiwitea Stream.
Feilding War Memorial
Growing up in a small town like Feilding, you always held a bit of resentment being isolated to such a small town with nothing to do but it’s beauty was like no other.
One thing I do remember when I was younger, was always boasting to outsiders about how many times Feilding had won New Zealand’s Most Beautiful town. I was always rather proud of Feilding in that aspect, and as a community, it is something we held in the highest regard.
Feilding’s iconic clock tower
After moving to a big city you soon realise the community spirit and rural town quirks such as our Settlers Day where everyone dresses up in colonial period costumes or our secondary school creating their own version of the Wearable Arts. These are not regular occurrences in cities such as Auckland or Wellington.
One thing about a small town is when you go into the town center you are always greeted with a smile and hello from most people and you’re bound to see someone if not several people you know.
After living away from Feilding for the past five years, you miss the sense of belonging you have in your hometown. I’ll always call Feilding my home and I do miss that sense of community that a rural town provides.
In my opinion, the town I call home is most deserving of its 15th title of New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Town.