The Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust announces its second Whanganui Heritage Month to be held throughout October 2020 with a spring theme to highlight and celebrate the city's Maori and European built heritage.

The October spring theme will add flavour to events. Flowers and flora were used in abundance in times gone by and are the basis behind many design and architectural features, both Maori and European. However, all heritage themed events are welcome, no matter their emphasis.

Whanganui has one of New Zealand's highest concentrations of European heritage buildings, still largely intact, and dominating the city centre. They represent a complete and significant number of building styles dating between 1860 and 1960. There are also a number of Maori sites of significance including the beautiful St Paul's Memorial Church, Putiki which was recently awarded NZ Heritage Category 1 status, and numerous marae along the Whanganui River Road to the settlement of Jerusalem.

A series of eclectic events will explore many aspect of Whanganui's heritage and history. In 2019, Heritage Month included the 100 year celebrations of the Sarjeant Gallery and Durie Hill Elevator – both significant and unique in New Zealand. A wide range of local groups and individuals hosted more than 40 events, attended by more than 3000 people.
Events planned for 2020 include celebrating the awarding of Category 1 Heritage Status to St Paul's Memorial Church, Putiki and the former Fire Watchtower on York Hill in Cooks Gardens, by Heritage New Zealand.

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Marketing of the event will encourage visitors from around New Zealand to come and enjoy Whanganui's features including parks and gardens, heritage home tours, seminars, museums and galleries and tours around the historic town centre. High tea, beer tasting during the Craft Beer Festival over Labour Weekend, food and coffee are also on offer during the month.

Event registrations from groups and individuals wishing to host events, are now open and close on July 12. Events will be individually listed by on our website, and printed in 12,000 Event Guides. Posters, billboards, radio, magazine and newspaper articles, advertisements and online media will all be used to market this event.

Kelly Scarrow is the paid co-ordinator and Helen Craig is the heritage trustee responsible for the event.

The trust is marketing the events in partnership with major institutions to steer progress including the Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui Venue & Events, Mainstreet Wanganui, Bushy Park Trust, Alexander Heritage Library, Whanganui Regional Museum, Whanganui District Council and Whanganui & Partners. Heritage Month will normally occur annually in August, but instead will be held in October 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19.