Oamaru has taken the title of New Zealand’s Sharpest Town in a landslide victory over four other towns.
More than 10,000 people voted for Seven Sharp’s competition to find New Zealand’s Sharpest Town. Forty per cent of the votes went to Oamaru, taking the title by more than 1500 votes.
After such a positive response to their feature “On the Map”, focusing on small towns in New Zealand, Seven Sharp executive producer Raewyn Rasch said they had decided to create New Zealand’s Sharpest Town and ask the people of New Zealand which towns they were passionate about.
Viewers nominated about 50 different towns around the country and Seven Sharp featured five of the best – Oamaru, Motueka, Ohakune, Okaihau and Te Anau – on the show last week.
Oamaru’s feature on Friday night included snippets of the Victorian Precinct, steampunk, Waitaki Boys’ High School, the rivers, the surfing, and affordable real estate.
“It was about getting towns excited about showing their own passion, which Oamaru was definitely able to do,” Ms Rasch said.
As a former Waitaki Boys’ High School student, Seven Sharp reporter Matt Chisholm said he had hoped Oamaru would win.
“From the age of 11 through to 18, I lived in Oamaru and it was a cool place to live,” he said.
“I am really proud to be an Oamaru boy and a Waitakian, and it’s nice to come back and hopefully help to build the profile of the town.”
Oamaru will also play host to the Seven Sharp team for a live show next month.
The team are hoping to get Oamaruvians as involved as possible in the live show. They would love to hear from residents who have an interesting story to tell. Email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rebecca Ryan