Floating parade for Whau

Last updated 05:00 07/02/2014
Flotilla
FLOATING CARNIVAL: Organiser Kathy Waghorn is encouraging the community to decorate boats to take part in the Flotilla Whau down the Whau River.

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The Whau River will look more like a watery fairground this month.

The Flotilla Whau will take over the waterway on February 22 to highlight its significance to the West Auckland community.

A variety of colourfully-decorated vessels are expected to sail down a stretch of the river in parade-like fashion.

More than 100 sea scouts are taking part and Hoopla, the independent collective organising the event, wants to encourage more residents to dress up and parade with them down the river.

Co-organiser Kathy Waghorn says after the success of last year's event, it made sense to do it again.

"The idea is to get people recognising the Whau as a fantastic place we can use as a recreational space.

"It's amazing how many people don't even realise it's here."

A long-term goal for many Whau River advocate groups is to encourage better access to the waterway.

Another issue of contention is trying to prevent further dumping of rubbish, Ms Waghorn says.

"The Whau has always been a resource but for a long time it has been at the back of everything.

"Many of the spaces and reserves aren't utilised and many access points to the river are at dead-end roads," she says.

Ms Waghorn hopes that the event will open the communities eyes to "the incredible resource in their backyard" and encourage them to meet their neighbours.

Whau Local Board chairwoman Catherine Farmer plans to attend the event while wearing plenty of sunblock.

"I support the idea of getting people connected to the river in their area," Ms Farmer says.

"We need to work towards reducing pollution and restoring the fish life in the river," she says.

For more information visit flotilla-whau.blogspot.co.nz.

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