People had a chance to show they feel good about Wanganui in a march along Victoria Avenue on Saturday.

Julie Herewini decided to organise the 'Yeah Hard Whanganui Zombie March' after seeing the social media comments following the TV One Sunday programme of September 21.

The programme focused on Wanganui and in it economist Shamubeel Eaqub said struggling rural towns might have to be shut down.

"I wanted a positive response, and to say 'No, you are wrong'," Mrs Herewini said.


About 50 people, many of them children, set off from Wanganui's Ridgway Park to march to Majestic Square at noon. Quite a few were in zombie costume and make-up, reflecting Mr Eaqub's warning that stagnating rural places could become "zombie towns".

At Majestic Square there were more supporters waiting, including five from Castlecliff's Rough Riders group.

In the square the children did the chicken dance and macarena, were given balloons and lollipops, and two volunteers sang.

A microphone was passed around so people could say what they loved about the city of Wanganui.

The event gave people a chance to have their say, Mrs Herewini said.

"It was what we had hoped for."

Now she would like people to actively engage with businesses and organisations and find out how they can contribute to a positive Wanganui.

The Whanganui River settlement would mean a good future for Maori, she said.

Earlier in the month she was at the Te Pae Roa conference on Maori development in Auckland. She thought the future was looking good, helped by Maori university graduates of all levels.

"The outlook generally for Maori and the Maori economy is very good."