Vehicle access was the centre of debate as Castlecliff residents met to discuss the future of the Morgan St and North Mole area.

A meeting has been held at Castlecliff School where community members of the seaside suburb had their say on stage two of the Castlecliff Rejuvenation Project.

Following the completion of stage one that featured multiple upgrades to Rangiora St, stage two focuses on Morgan St, the North Mole and the river bank.

Many of the 80 people in attendance identified the dumping of rubbish as well as "hooning" motorbikes and cars as problems needing to be resolved in the area.


Some suggested that vehicles should not be allowed near the beach at all in the interests of the environment and ecological factors.

Others spoke of the value they placed on being able to drive right to the water's edge and that car access allowed the elderly or disabled to experience Whanganui's wild west coast.

Castlecliff Rejuvenation Project facilitator Jamie Waugh said there was probably a happy medium to be reached.

"Limiting vehicular access would have benefits in terms of environmental protection and minimising dumping and other antisocial behaviour," Waugh said.

"However, stopping vehicle access entirely would remove an important amenity that the community values highly."

Deputy mayor Jenny Duncan attended the meeting, as well as Whanganui District Council roading manager Brent Holmes and Horizons river engineer Dougal Ross.

Holmes and Ross attended so that they could take the community's thoughts into account in the construction and design of the final leg of the Mountains to Sea Cycleway.

Also spoken about at the meeting was the need for safe access to the river for fishing and swimming and protecting surfing at the North Mole.


There was also further discussion around the use of Harbour Endowment Land between Morgan St and the river with many speakers advocating for protection and enhancement or restoration of the natural dune environment.

Deputy mayor Duncan thanked all of those present and said it was important that conversations about what locals want for the area continue.

She noted that every time the Whanganui District Council did a recreation survey, going to the beach was the number one activity in Whanganui.

A further meeting to solidify the community's vision and work towards an action plan for implementation will be held in May.