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New Plymouth Named New Zealand’s Top City

10 October 2008


New Plymouth Named New Zealand’s Top City

The accolades keep coming for New Plymouth.

North & South magazine has named New Plymouth the country’s Top Town – beating Christchurch into the runner-up position.

Coming third-equal were Auckland and Wellington.

The announcement comes just a few weeks after New Plymouth was named the only New Zealand finalist for a Whole City Award in the International Awards for Liveable Communities.

Says Mayor Peter Tennent: “Being judged the top community in New Zealand by North & South is a huge accolade.

“Those of us that live here have never been in any doubt of how fantastic this place is, but it is wonderful to have independent judging attesting just that. The best place to live in the best country in the world is pretty special!”

North & South editor Virginia Larson says New Plymouth stood out for several reasons, from its climate and natural environment through to the district’s economy, facilities, and affordable housing and lifestyle.

“Since we last ran our Top Town Competition in 2000, New Plymouth has rapidly developed its art and cultural offerings – such as Puke Ariki, concerts and events like WOMAD, and major sporting events like the ITU Triathlon World Cup, Davis Cup, rugby and cricket fixtures,” says Ms Larson.

“To cap it all, we felt New Plymouth has a sense of ‘can-do’ and a real community spirit.”

North & South also scored New Plymouth highly for job opportunities and economic growth, and for the initiatives and successes of Venture Taranaki and the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs.

North & South sent questionnaires to more than 40 cities and towns around the country, and evaluated the information that came back alongside data from organisations such as Statistics NZ, NIWA, Quotable Value and BERL.

“There were still those hard-to-judge, more ephemeral factors – community spirit, confidence – which we got to argue over,” says Ms Larson.

“We mostly argued over the runners-up, however. It quickly became clear that New Plymouth was our winner.”

Mayor Pete says New Plymouth District’s greatest strength is its community.

“The people who live here are a passionate lot, and are always looking at new ways to develop opportunities,” he says.

“It’s because of our heritage of innovation and determination that we have ground-breaking facilities, extensive parks and reserves, a magnificent programme of events and festivals, and a very strong local economy – which combined with our fantastic landscape makes for a lifestyle that’s unequalled anywhere. We truly are blessed!”

A feature on the winners and runners-up for the Top Town and Top Small Town awards appears in the latest issue of North & South, which is on sale from this Monday (13 OCTOBER).


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