The Horowhenua town of Foxton was once home to a bustling port with steamers and sailing ships carting away the region's flax fibre. Rowing races and swimming competitions were regularly held in the Manawatu River which flowed through the town. All that changed in the 1940s with the Whirokino Cut - originally designed as a flood spillway but which ended up diverting the river entirely and cutting off the so-called Foxton Loop from the river. Now a group of environmental organisations is calling for the loop and the river to be reconnected and they have visions of the region's wetlands being restored to a point where the "Foxton Everglades" become a major tourist attraction.
Jeremy Rose visits the economically-depressed town to talk to some of those behind the proposal.