I was interested to read of the initiative to extend tourism on the river (Chronicle, November 16). It is a great idea, and Whanganui has benefited from another type of cultural tourism over many years.
This cultural tourism relates to the arts and doesn't have the support of Whanganui & Partners, although the council does recognise its importance to the local economy.
Cultural tourism has been a buzzword elsewhere for some time, and Whanganui is fast gaining a reputation as an eminent cultural city.
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As such, the Whanganui Camera Club played host to a convention on behalf of the Photographic Society of NZ last year. The Sarjeant Art Gallery attracts many outsiders, while enthusiastic volunteers have maintained such events as WOW, Artists Open Studios, Shakespeare in the Park and the Literary Festival over many years.
This commitment often results in burn-out, as possibly happened with the Glass Festival of days gone by.
A survey conducted by WeCreate (formerly Copyright Licensing) found that the creative industries in New Zealand contribute $3.5 billion to the Gross Domestic Product, considerably more than some primary industries. You might expect that would be hard to ignore, but the arts are rarely recognised as the considerable contributor to the economy that they are.
Some recognition from Whanganui & Partners of the economic as well as emotional well-being value of the arts in Whanganui might help.
Walkers at risk
The Te Araroa Trail, which has been going from Whanganui to Turakina then down the Beach Rd to Koitiata, has been changed by advisers to go through Fordell and out to the beach at Whangaehu and from there over the Turakina River to Koitiata.
In the next three months there will be many hundreds of walkers doing this trail. So far there have been just a sprinkling going through, and I have already heard of three walkers needing assistance.
The odd log and patches of soft sand change with every tide and make it extremely dangerous, especially with tramping boots and a heavy pack on your back.
The local experienced whitebaiters all get behind one another on the Koitiata side and would not consider crossing this difficult river.
What does that tell you?
Yobboes at Parliament
A few days ago there was a large group of yobboes demonstrating outside Parliament, insulting our wonderful prime minister and shouting at ministers of the Crown.
Like all bullies, they got very upset when one of the ministers stood up to them and shouted back that they were a bunch of rednecks. "Dear oh dear, how sad, never mind." The poor little diddums!
Obviously he should have said something less offensive, perhaps that they were a bunch of ignorant yokels rather than rednecks.
It is also appalling that the National Party was giving support to this rabble. The National Party should have been defending our democratic institutions, such as Parliament, from this mob of redneck farmers.
Unfortunately, National has become a party that is only interested in increasing taxes on ordinary New Zealanders so that they can give Government handouts to the rich and, of course, support wealthy farmers.
I should like to commend Lizzie Marvelly for her frank, insightful and erudite column regarding district health boards (Chronicle, November 16).
She has explicitly outlined why the current make-up of these boards is professionally inappropriate, and in doing so has accurately reflected my own long-held view.
Hopefully, Heather Simpson (chairwoman of the Health System Review) will take a long, hard look at the plethora and make-up of hospital boards.
A cost/benefit analysis is also a very important aspect of this.
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