Whanganui's much-loved Mosquito Point swing is back.
After an absence of more than two years - during which its return had been ruled out - a ceremony is being held today to open the newly installed swing just three days into summer.
In April, Whanganui district councillors voted to return the swing to the popular swimming spot on the back of strong public demand and against the advice of staff and council policy.
When the old swing was removed in July 2016 after rot was discovered in the pole, council staff chose not to replace it, citing safety concerns and reputational risk should anyone have an accident.
The Whanganui River and its bank is not considered a safe landing zone under New Zealand playground standards, meaning the swing is "significantly inconsistent" with the council's own parks and open spaces strategy.
Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall said it the swing was an "important part of the river activities" and councillors were "almost unanimous in its support to put it back".
"Iconic is an overused term but there are some things that are really, really important just for the basic fun of the community," he said.
A swing has been a feature of Mosquito Point for decades but it was first officially installed by council in the early 2000s.
"I can totally understand why officers made that decision but equally there's a point that where you understand that there are risks in everything. There are risks at Kowhai Park, there are risks at Castlecliff Beach."
While council has put the swing back, McDouall said it was now over to the public to use it responsibly.
Measures had been taken to lower the risk "without wrapping people in bubble wrap" and urged people to be aware of hazards in the water before jumping", he said.
In 2016 Mosquito Point came out on top in Horizons Regional Council's favourite swim spot competition which meant it paid for a spruce-up including improved access to the river, clearing of willows and vegetation and new seating.
Meanwhile, the new swing is not the only change out at Mosquito Point, with Papaiti Rd being realigned this year as part of flood repair work.
Motorists now take a small turnoff to get to the swim spot, with the new road running inland of the river.
The $1 million realignment was the last of the roading repairs following the 2015 flooding which caused extensive damage to Whanganui's road network.
Earlier this year the district council's senior roading engineer Rui Leitao said Mosquito Point would look more like a proper reserve.
"It will still be accessible but it'll be by a purpose-built access road. It'll be a road lined with trees going into a reserve."