Wanganui and its people will feature in a television series that takes a look at New Zealand's everyday people and places.

This Town screens on TV One at 8.30pm every Wednesday, and next week's episode, A River Runs Through It, is set in Wanganui.

Viewers will get to meet some of the locals pursuing their passions on the banks of the Whanganui River.

They include David McDermid, skipper of the MV Wairua. Born and raised in Wanganui, Mr McDermid has been keen on boats since he was a boy, and reckons the city's river-boat heritage is unique.


He has been instrumental in bringing the once-bustling waterway back to life, rescuing the derelict and abandoned Wairua and faithfully restoring her to first-class condition.

It was a labour of love for Mr McDermid and his mates, and it took them 19 years to refloat the old girl and get her back in business. "It's been a long journey, but I really like what I do now, cruising up and down the river and sharing it with people."

Upstream at Jerusalem, Sister Christina plays the organ and looks after the church and grounds at St Joseph's Convent. She also helps out in the vege garden of the local school in Ranana, the last rural school left on the Whanganui River.

Sister Christina never dreamed she would become a nun, especially after a priest who said she wouldn't cut it. But almost 50 years later, she is having the last laugh, as she is about to celebrate her golden jubilee with the order. For her, life alongside the river is perfect.

"People come here to recharge their batteries. It's a real paradise."

-This Town: A River Runs Through It screens on July 29, 8.30pm, TV One.