Summer swim spot competitions closed

The end of Easter Weekend marked the closing of Horizons Regional Council’s summer swim spot campaign, and three weeks left until the end of the summer monitoring programme.

Horizons chair Bruce Gordon is pleased with the success of this summer’s monitoring programme.
“Our science team have done a fantastic job by getting out to over 80 swim spots across the region each week, with the help of Ngāti Rangi in the Ruapehu district.
“While the sites haven’t been ‘green’ 100 per cent of the time, we’ve been able to provide information to help our communities make informed decisions on when it’s safe to swim at their favourite spot.”
As part of the campaign three competitions were run. The first, a #swiminourregion photo competition, asked the public to share photos of themselves enjoying the region’s waterways. By tagging the location and using the hashtag they were in to win a water themed adventure package worth up to $1,500.
The winning photo will be selected from 110 entries by Horizons’ chair Bruce Gordon, chief executive Michael McCartney, and Manawatū Standard photographer David Unwin in the coming week. The winner will be announced on Horizons’ social media platforms.
Horizons’ second summer competition, ‘spruce up your swim spot’, invited the public to vote for their favourite location from a selection of eight they would like to see win a ‘spruce up’ in the coming year.
The popularity of this year’s poll has doubled with over 1100 votes, in comparison to the over 450 votes last year.
“The Whanganui River at Cherry Grove site in Taumarunui soared into first place with 228 votes more than Lake Wiritoa in second place. It’s great to see one of our smaller towns taking the win, as we appreciate how much the local community will enjoy their favourite swim spot getting a spruce up,” says Mr Gordon.
“We’re looking forward to working with Ruapehu District Council, local iwi, and the community for suggestions on what improvements we could make to the site before the next swimming season.”
Ruapehu District Council’s group manager of community services Margaret Hawthorne is thrilled with the poll results.
“Cherry Grove is a much-loved swim spot here in Taumarunui, so we’re very much looking forward to working with Horizons to get improvements underway,” she says.
The third and final competition was for the public of Whanganui to create a design for the new changing shed structure that went in at Mosquito Point, which won last summer’s spruce up.
Over 20 entries were received with the winning design ultimately coming from Emma Henare (14) from Wanganui High School. Emma’s design will be incorporated with elements relating to the river from highly commended winner, Grace Smith (13).
While the summer campaign has now finished, Horizons’ science team will continue their recreational monitoring programme of 80 swim spots throughout the Region until the end of April. Public can view the weekly results of bacteria testing on Horizons safe swim spots map or
Horizons’ monthly state of the environment water quality monitoring programme which tests a much wider set of parameters at over 100 sites (not just swim spots) will continue throughout the year.