Image: Mayor Hamish McDouall tries out the swing
Do you recall those summer days of swimming at Mosquito Point, floating in the cool water or soaring out over the river on the swing?
On Monday, 3 December Mayor Hamish McDouall and Whanganui District councillors gathered at Mosquito Point for a blessing by kaumātua John Maihi and a celebration of the reinstallation of the swing.
The original version of the swing was put up by members of the public decades ago, and had been present in some form for years, with the Council taking over maintenance of the swing in the 1990s. However, in July 2016 the swing was removed, after rot was discovered in the pole and it was considered unsafe.
This year, in response to feedback from the public calling for a return of the swing, Council staff took the matter to the Mayor and councillors for a decision. After a thorough discussion, where the need to balance risk and responsibility was recognised, the elected members voted to install a new swing providing appropriate safety warnings were displayed on-site.
With the reinstallation of the swing, Mosquito Point is truly back in business for summer. The spot is known amongst Whanganui locals as a great place for picnicking and swimming, and in 2016 won a ‘spruce up’ when the public voted it most popular swimming location in a Horizons Regional Council competition.
The spruce up included new structures – steps, seating, and a changing room – and vegetation clearing and new planting. Last year Whanganui District Council provided new picnic tables and upgraded the road which leads to the site.
“The community has been very keen to see the swing back at Mosquito Point, as it’s been a public facility for decades. It’s great that it’s installed in time for summer,” said Mayor McDouall.
While he is delighted the swing has been re-installed, Mayor McDouall reminds people to be safe.
“While enjoying Mosquito Point, please check for debris on the awa, such as logs, and monitor swimming conditions, particularly after heavy rain. It’s also important to look out for other users to make sure everyone is safe and can enjoy this great swimming spot together.”
Have fun swimming at Mosquito Point or anywhere else in our region this summer, and remember to check the Safe Swim Spots Map on Horizons Regional Council’s website for up-to-date information about potential safety risks before heading out: http://www.horizons.govt.nz/managing-natural-resources/water/safe-swim-spots-map