School athletics champs a huge success - 13/12/2007by Deputy Mayor Dot McKinnon
You have to 'hand it' to Alec McNab and Wanganui Athletics. They hosted the most successful national inter-secondary school athletic championships – ever! Hundreds of participants, teachers, coaches and parents descended on Wanganui – from Cook Islands to Bluff. Alec, you even cajoled the 'big guy' to give us the best weather that we have had all year. Alec – Wanganui salutes you.
I hate to be the author or anything detrimental to Wanganui ….. but you have to admit we could change our name from Wanganui to Ponganui! The odours from both Virginia Lake and the Wastewater Treatment Plant have really got up all of our noses. You could say the 'pongs' are through natural processes, but bring on technology to cleanse our air.
Citizenship ceremonies are always very special occasions, and last week's event was no exception. Thirty-four more migrants have chosen Wanganui as their home. There is a strong correlation between leading, growing communities and ethnic diversity. The more migrants from South Africa, India, China, Fiji, UK, Zimbabwe and Australia that we can attract, the healthier and stronger our community. We need their skills, outlooks and work ethic in Wanganui. Why does Mayor Michael consistently give All Black scarves and footballs to the new citizens? Funny how he backed Deans as the next coach. I backed Henry. Not that I would say I knew better than the Mayor, or would I?
The greatest challenge for Councillors this week is the Funding Review. We must collectively determine how we rate properties in the upcoming year. Do we stay with the status quo or do we consider more targeted rates, rating based on capital rather than land values, greater differentials between commercial, rural and residential rates and so on. This exercise will test us and, whatever the outcomes, we are bound to upset some ratepayers.
I am writing this article whilst in Wellington. My son, Craig, is graduating with a Commerce degree and parents have to celebrate this commitment to education. He is the sixth of Richard's and my seven children to graduate. No pressure on number 7, eh Jo Jo!!
Many of you will remember Ian McKinnon, Headmaster of Wanganui Collegiate School in the 1980s. He is not only Deputy Mayor of Wellington but very much involved in the Victoria University scene, as Pro Chancellor of the university. He headed the procession with Mayor Kerry this graduation day. Wanganui people do well, wherever they are!