Secret's out life is good in our place

By Ross Pringle

So there you have it: 90 per cent of us living in Wanganui think life is better than or the same as last year.

It's the sort of statistic that makes a mockery of the doom and gloom merchants whose focus seems to be more on the cloud than the silver lining.

Of course, the survey undertaken on behalf of Wanganui District Council was far from comprehensive, the sample size was 400 of our 40,000 or so population, so for each suburb the number of respondents was limited. However, we should not be too disheartened.

If anything, the survey reinforces what most of us know and espouse on a regular basis: that Wanganui is a safe, connected, vibrant place perfect for families in particular.

The state of recreational facilities is high, we have an abundance of arts and cultural outlets and most of us feel safe most of the time.

Our challenge, it seems, is to convince those few who have lost faith in the attributes of the area, such as amenities, climate, a strong sense of community, excellent education providers, a safe environment. Perhaps, though, those people are glass-half-empty types who will never be persuaded, too wholly focused on the negatives in life to be convinced of what is all around them.

Yes, we must acknowledge the tough times and the jobs that have been lost, but ask yourself: is life in Wanganui really that bad?

Not according to the survey, and on that score I think it is pretty accurate; the vast majority of residents presumably couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

That most of us are happy with this place and what it offers is cause for celebration and a signal, surely, that we are on the right track. What we must strive for now is to spread the word so others may share what we already know, bringing the much-needed stimulus to our economy.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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