Community groups in big party for Awapuni

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 29/10/2012

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While the children of Awapuni enjoyed making the mayor of Palmerston North do push-ups, a community day in the suburb was about something more.

Awesome Awapuni took place at Alexander Park on Saturday, with community groups coming together to celebrate.

Awesome Awapuni chairman and Palmerston North police senior sergeant Brett Calkin said Awapuni was a suburb which "flew under the radar" and deserved to be in the spotlight for the right reasons.

"It gets pushed off to the side, but it's a great little community, really.

"We want people to know that.

"We want the people who live here to celebrate this place as a really good community to live in."

The day's festivities featured kapa haka performances, games and the rarely granted opportunity to throw pancakes at police officers.

But a tug-of-war between children and police and fire officers, council staff and Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor proved most popular, with the children winning.

Their prize was the pleasure of watching the adults do 20 push-ups.

Mr Naylor said getting the people of Awapuni together was a way to make it a safer place.

"Communities are safer places when people are connected and people know each other and have a sense of belonging.

"This type of thing is a good start."

While police and city council had helped organise the event, Mr Naylor said he was proud of the way the people of Awapuni had run with the idea.

"It's just about trying to get people to know one another in our communities.

"You can achieve it on a bigger scale, but sometimes it comes down to neighbourhoods."

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- Manawatu Standard

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