Students from Wanganui City College's cadet programme used tools of a different kind when they picked up shovels yesterday to help clean up the Putiki slipway.

Waka Ama Te Tai Tonga 41-Degrees Club president Charmaine Matiaha said she called on the cadets to lend a hand to continue to clear the riverside site. "We're trying to get the area as flat as possible for the waka and boaties who will be happy."

The Wanganui District Council and Tupoho Runanga agreed that the area could do with clearing.

The remnants of a slipway used by big boats remained, which Ms Matiaha said she'd like to see reused for a viewing platform along the riverbank.

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A pontoon that washed down the river could also be used to prevent further erosion of the bank along which pohutukawa grew, she said.

Last Saturday, the waka club started the clean-up with a working bee.

Second-year cadet Year 13 student Samantha Nuku-Miller said the work on the slipway was an ideal opportunity to give back to the community.