Whanganui’s M¯aori Santa beats them all
Meri Kirihimete. Last week, Auckland’s resident Santa said ‘No’ to a woman taking on the role.
Nelson’s event manager got a right telling off by some for a change to a magnificent-looking Ma¯ ori complete with korowai cloak in red, but no Santa costume.
Hang on . . . Whanganui’s effort beat them all by 12 months as our Santa 2017 was a respected Ma¯ori, wearing sunnies, shorts, and jandals — though he did have the top half of the costume. But it never made national headlines . . . bugger!
Mainstreet is treated by Whanganui District Council as having “preferred provider” status (no tendering) and receives monies and strict requirements from council to run the Christmas parade.
It does provide continuity of the parade year after year, and council should be thanked for that.
Many parade entries are left late or last-minute, making proper curation of some dubious entries all but impossible. But we must all appreciate the entries are us — locals — who put in volunteer time and great effort.
Mainstreet relies on whoever enters, setting the date of the parade well in advance in consultation with a tiny set of engaged member shop-owners/keepers.
If it went to tender to selfemployed event managers, and/or a post-event public survey, could it be better? There’s many a talented local event manager who would like a crack at that opportunity.
For 2017, Mainstreet had no control over the racehorse industry and fun runs in the morning and afternoon.
However, the new Mainstreet general manager and the new governance board could look at a quicker turn around in reporting, and seek the public’s input around feedback and possible new ideas.
Mainstreet did not get one written complaint for its attempt to bring a new look to the 2017 parade. Maybe in Whanganui we are more progressive and open to change.
It’s great that the Mainstreet event manager tried in 2017; this year it looks like its back to tradition. Bugger! ROSS FALLEN