Issue No. 294 - 18 January 2007
Waterfront development begins
The worksite safety fencing is up and work has begun on Wanganui’s waterfront development.
The $1.8 million project commenced in earnest this week when the crane started driving in the piles for the timber walkway. This is expected to take about five weeks, after which work on the walkway surface will begin.
Work will start on paving and seal around the end of April and the entire project should take about 24 weeks to complete.
The area involved stretches along the river from the town bridge to the Waimarie mooring jetty. This section will be upgraded with a cantilevered boardwalk along the river’s edge, courtyard style landscaping and planting, plus extra amenities to add comfort and security.
Wanganui District Council Property Manager Rowan McGregor says that in the past Wanganui people turned their back on the river, with nearby businesses facing away from our biggest natural asset. This is now a process of changing direction, facing and embracing the river and enhancing the area for beautification and passive recreation.
Mayor Michael Laws said that the current construction of both the Splash Centre extension and the riverfront development would complete the priorities established at Referendum '05.
The top three public choices had been the Splash extension, riverfront development and more funding for footpath maintenance. The fourth choice of that referendum - a makeover of Wanganui's airport terminal - would soon commence too.
"These are true public projects. It has been an absolute honour to ensure that those wishes are coming true."
Virginia Lake blooming
If you’re thinking that Virginia Lake is looking a little jaundiced lately, don’t worry, it will pass.
Tests have confirmed that cyanobacteria (call it blue-green algae) is responsible for the unhealthy tinge to our usually blue and beautiful lake. The algae thrives in the current warm, settled weather and that accounts for the peculiar colour.
Kate McArthur, a Horizons environmental scientist, says that the algae can release toxins which may be harmful if swallowed by people, pets or livestock. She says that contact with eyes or skin can cause irritation and should be avoided.
In other words, don’t go swimming in the lake and keep your pets away from the water.
Kate assures us that most blooms are short-lived, and a period of cold, windy or unsettled weather should clear the cyanobacteria from Virginia Lake within a few weeks.
Hurricanes vs Chiefs at Cooks Gardens
Wanganui is being given a rare treat tonight - a Super 14 pre-season warm-up game between the Hurricanes and the Chiefs right here on our own turf at Cooks Gardens.
As well as being provided with some first class rugby, Wanganui is also being given the chance to excel at playing host city. This could have a spin-off for us as far off as 2011, but right now it’s an opportunity to make two teams and their supporters feel welcome.
So fill those stands Wanganui! Enjoy the rugby and prove that we’re second to none in the hospitality rankings.
Gates open at 4.30pm, kick off is at 6pm. Tickets for covered seats are available from the Opera House for $20 each, otherwise gate charges are $10 each for adults, $5 each for children and under fives are free.
Burns Supper tradition is strong in Wanganui
Wanganui is a city with a distinctively Scottish flavour over the next week or so, right down to the tatties and steaming haggis.
This Friday (January 19) is the Wanganui Robert Burns Club’s celebration of the birthday of the great man himself. All around the world on, or as close as possible to, January 25 Scottish societies and Burns Clubs celebrate with an evening of poetry and song, food and drink, and activities of a tartan nature. This year the venue is the dining hall at Wanganui Collegiate School and features music by the City of Wanganui Highland Pipe Band as well as two visiting musicians from Wellington, Peter Elms and John Smith. The evening will commence with a musical welcome followed by the traditional ‘piping in’ and ‘address to’ the haggis. There will be Burns songs, a recitation of a Burns poem, Scottish dancing and a traditional Scottish menu, all in memory of a man who died more than 200 years ago at the age of 37. The Scots have long memories. So popular is this event in Wanganui that tickets are always sold out well in advance.
Eight days later the Turakina Caledonian Society turns on the 143rd Annual Highland Games at the Turakina Domain with piping, drumming, bands, field events, dancing and the evening ceilidh. You can take the Scotsman out of Scotland...
The following arrangements will be observed by the Council on Wellington Anniversary Day. You can contact us at any time on 349 0001.
Municipal Office Building
Whanganui Regional Museum
After hours services are listed in the telephone directory under 'Wanganui District Council'.
Royal Wanganui Opera House Booking Office
Normal hours of Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5.30pm, resume from Tuesday, January 23.
We welcome members of the public to attend our meetings
Council Meeting – Monday, January 29 (Council Chamber)
Youth – Monday, February 5
Heritage – Thursday, February 8
Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are held at 4.00pm in Committee Room 2, 1st Floor, Municipal Office Building, 101 Guyton Street, Wanganui.
Agendas are available at the Customer Services Counter, Municipal Office Building, 101 Guyton Street, Wanganui, and the Wanganui District Library two working days prior to the meeting.