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A Recreational Lake for Manawatu?

A lake in the Manawatu has he gone bonkers I hear you say. Currently the only major population centre in New Zealand without easy access to boating and sailing waters Palmerston North City Council is considering sinking part of their own district to make amends.

Now at this point I must mention I once met three Palmy North sailors and they were three of the weirdest individuals I have ever met. I guess that is what it takes to be a sailor when you live in Palmerston North. To go sailing they travelled for over an hour to Foxton Beach where they sailed in a lagoon or was it a river hmmm. Foxton itself is not your normal beach, this is after all the beach where people drive there cars onto the sand and use them as sun umbrellas and kids make sandcastles in a rusted out hulk shipwrecked long ago.

"Everything remains very indefinite at this stage though we did conduct a 300 person survey in Palmerston North early in September on possible usage levels" according to Keith Johnson a consultant examining the viability of the project. The consulting team from Montgomery Watson/ The Transitions Team submitted the draft Final Report on possible economic benefits on 17 September 1999. Membership numbers, trends, demographics, location of alternative facilities, distances travelled to facilitates, hosting of events, event fees and sponsorship were all part of the survey and are contained in the report. The report will now be reviewed by the Palmerston North Lake Working Party headed by Councillor Crudden.

So is Palmerston North's boating draught over? Only time will tell but before you dismiss the idea out of hand consider Hamilton's recreational lake. It was man made yonks ago and supports a flourishing yacht club and many other activities like radio controlled yachting. Besides think of the reputation that the lake would get being located in the windiest place in New Zealand!!! It could even surpass Wellington in terms of reputation.


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