Whanganui’s M¯aori Santa beats them all

Whanganui Chronicle - - Opinion -

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

Castle­cliff

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