The Hamilton Gardens entry won the Innovation in Council-Community Relations category and was also named Supreme Award winner in Wellington last night, taking the top prize against strong competition from a record number of entries.
"It’s fantastic to win this award,” Mayor Julie Hardaker says. “This Supreme Award is about the whole journey of the gardens from rubbish dump to the best garden in the world. It's a reinforcement that everything about Hamilton Gardens - from its visionary beginnings to the development project underway now - and how that the project is being managed and funded, to the talented staff and the leadership, is exceptional.
"I want to thank the community for their tremendous support of the gardens and all the funders over many years who have enabled the projects to be done. It's congratulations to Hamilton."
Council Chief Executive Richard Briggs says what the gardens team has achieved in recent years has been amazing.
“They have really helped put Hamilton on the international map and created what is a fantastic destination for tourists and locals alike.”
Today the Hamilton Gardens is a must see visitor destination and internationally significant tourist destination in New Zealand, with more than a million visitors a year.
Over the last 35 years, an old landfill site has transformed into the ‘International Garden of the Year 2014’. It’s predicted to bring a direct economic benefit to Hamilton’s economy of $14.5 million per year within three years - $5.6 million more than today.
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