26 Sep 2014

Proud residents to celebrate Whanganui

7:27 pm on 26 September 2014

Residents from Whanganui - both Maori and non-Maori - are fighting back against their home being labelled a "zombie town" and will take part in a "peaceful" march tomorrow.

They will be celebrating the postive aspects of the North Island city in reaction to comments made by economist Shamubeel Eaqub on a recently televised current affairs programme.

The march will start from Ridgeway Park to Majestic Square.

The march will start from Ridgeway Park to Majestic Square. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Julie Herewini, from Nga Tai o Te Awa, has organised the event after feeling what she describes as "mamae", or hurt, over what was said on Television New Zealand's Sunday programme.

It featured local residents, including business people and former mayor Michael Laws talking about the economic downturn in the provincial town and what their aspirations were to invigorate it.

Ms Herewini said there has been quite a big public reaction to the programme and Nga Tai o Te Awa is determind to prove that the comments made are wrong.

The event is not a protest, she said, but a celebration of their Whanganuitanga, or Whanganui identity, which involves everyone in the community.

The Whanganui iwi woman said the peaceful march from Ridgeway Park to Majestic Square would show that the town is vibrant, innovative and that it has a good sense of humour.

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