Summer swim spot competitions winners announced

Tuesday marked the last official day of summer, and the final day for Horizons Regional Council’s two summer swim spot competitions.

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.

Di Simpson’s winning photo was a perfectly timed shot of a Halcombe School student taking a dip in Cone Creek while her class was on camp. When contacted by Horizons, Ms Simpson said she was very excited about winning and would be looking to spend the prize with her class.

The photo was selected from over 80 entries by Horizons’ chairman Bruce Gordon, chief executive Michael McCartney, and Manawatu Standard photographer David Unwin.

“We all had different first place getters, showing just how impressed we were with all of the photos sent in,” says Mr Gordon.

“Using a ranking system saw Mrs Simpson’s photo take out the prize, however we will also be extending Danielle Balmer, the close second place holder, a summer picnic hamper.

“From teenagers and young families, to the school camp, all of the pictures showed just how much our communities enjoy what our Region has to offer. I was especially impressed with one entry that was accompanied by a poem about Vinegar Hill.”

Horizons second summer competition, ‘spruce up your swim spot’, invited the public to vote for their favourite location from a selection of 12. The most popular site was to win a ‘spruce up’ in the coming year.

“The Lower Whanganui River at Mosquito Point in Whanganui came out on top with 31 per cent of the votes,” says Mr Gordon.

“Mosquito Point led for the majority of the competition which has been running since December. We’re also pleased to say we will look to undertake some work at the other sites, as with over 450 votes, people are clearly enthusiastic about their local spots.”

Whanganui District Council’s general manager for property Leighton Toy is thrilled with the poll results.

“Mosquito Point is a much-loved swim spot here in Whanganui, so we’re very much looking forward to working with Horizons to get improvements underway,” he says.

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 LAWA.

“We’re aware that the summer weather has finally kicked in for most of our Region, so we are very keen to keep communities informed regarding the swimmable status of their favourite spots,” says Mr Gordon.