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21 October 2009

Wanganui Riverfront Whalkway

This is a circuit of just over 2 hours fatman time, including photos. Peter, Alice and I started at the southern side of the Dublin St bridge, crossed the bridge and walked west as far as the City bridge, crossed again, and headed back down to the van on the south bank.

In Sepember 2007, Mayor Michael Laws officially opened the walkway project, and it is ongoing

Who exactly are we sharing it with?

We park the van and hitch Alice to a lead, something she is not all that keen on with so much to explore that is new. Would we like to go tramping on a lead. Not really.

Peter volunteers to look after her while I do my stuff with the camera.

Looks like the Topp Twins have been here before us...

On the far side a number of small groynes are placed at right angles to the bank to prevent damage to the river bank. A pair of ducks has occupied one of them.

We reach the other side and head west. It's a broad path, and one that we share with cyclists. This section is still very new and the new grass is roped off until it is a little more robust.

For all the apparent user-friendliness of the track, a small shrine is a reminder that we are living in an uncertain age.

Tania McKenzie was raped and murdered here in 2005. Her killer was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 19 year non-parole period.

In March of this year, the council approved a permanent bronze plaque to be placed at this site:

Council supports permanent memorial to Tania McKenzie - 17/03/2009

Mayor Michael Laws today announced that the Wanganui District Council has approved the placement of a permanent plaque in memory of the late Tania McKenzie.

"Wanganui was shocked by the brutal murder of Tania on her 20th birthday in 2005 and the council wants to support the McKenzie family in ensuring there is a permanent memorial to Tania," Mayor Laws said.

"Tania's family and friends have maintained an unofficial memorial to her on the Somme Parade riverbank near the Dublin Street Bridge and the council agrees that it is appropriate to place a permanent bronze plaque at that site.

"Many of us didn't know Tania personally but the whole community recognises the terrible loss suffered by her family. I'm pleased to have been able to talk with Tania's mum Naelene about the memorial and offer her the council's support."

At its meeting on Monday, the council approved the erection of a plaque with the following wording:

In loving memory of
Tania Rebecka McKenzie
7 January 1985 - 7 January 2005
"no shadow can extinguish her light"
loved daughter, granddaughter, sister & friend

It is a warm afternoon, but it suddenly feels a little colder.

There are some wonderful houses along here, and the roses are just perfect.

On the riverbank someone has been creative with the seating, but for all it's beauty it lacks a certain functionality for buttocks such as mine, and no, you're not going to get a photo. Perhaps it's designed for canoodling.

Out one end and in the other, as the saying goes.

That's a more effective looking seat. There has been a lot of care go into this project and it shows.

A concrete groyne hosts a gull.

We continue along beside the road.

Across the river, far up on the hill, an unusual design of house catches our attention. It occurs to me that the camera is sometimes better than a telescope for capturing distant information.

Across the road, a different kind of modern makes its statement.

Just along here, the walkway drops below the road and follows the riverbank more closely.

Over the way is an older house

with some marvellous examples of intricate colonial lace.



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