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New Zealand’s ‘most beautiful view’ named in competition raising awareness of macular degeneration

Hooker Lake, Mount Cook National Park, Canterbury

New Zealand’s ‘most beautiful view’ named in competition raising awareness of macular degeneration

New Zealand boasts many a stunning vista, but now we officially know where to find the best view in the country.

New Zealand’s ‘most beautiful view’ named in competition raising awareness of macular degeneration

Macular Degeneration New Zealand has released the results of its national photography competition which sought to uncover ‘New Zealand’s most beautiful view’.

The winning entry was a photograph of Hooker Lake in Canterbury (above). Images of Pouakai Tarns in Taranaki and Riwaka Resurgence in Nelson complete the top three.

The competition is raising awareness of macular degeneration, an age-related eye disease affecting 1 in 7 people over the age of 50, rising to a quarter of people over the age of 80. 

The competition highlights the condition by also featuring photographs showing how someone with macular degeneration might see each view, demonstrating what people risk losing if they don’t take their eye health seriously.

Entries were shortlisted by a judging panel consisting of actress and TV presenter Shavaughn Ruakere, landscape photographer Rach Stewart and nutritionist Claire Turnbull. All judges have a close family member that suffers from vision loss caused by macular degeneration.

The shortlisted entries were put to the public vote via a representative sample of 1,000 New Zealanders to choose their favourite views.

“The competition has served as a timely reminder of just how beautiful our own backyard is, and the breadth of entries featuring mountains, beaches and native bush show what a plethora of treasures we have to enjoy right here on our doorstep,” Judge Ruakere says.

“Being able to see and appreciate these stunning vistas is something we shouldn’t take for granted, so taking care of our eye health is really important.”

The announcement of the competition winner comes ahead of Macular Degeneration Awareness Week from 2-9 November.

Currently only 51 per cent of people over 50 know about macular degeneration. This is a problem as early detection and treatment can reduce avoidable vision loss for the 1,500,000 New Zealanders at risk.

A simple test, available via the MDNZ website and your optometrist, can lead to early diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness.

See the top 10 entries in the gallery below.

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