For over twenty years the Woodville Lions Club has run the annual Manawatu Gorge Walk, one of the most iconic events in our community calendar.
Walkers get to journey through the gorge, along the railway lines, taking in the spectacular views and gaining a new perspective on one of our region's most iconic geographical features.
However, KiwiRail has recently decided not to continue allowing the event to go ahead. They say a new emphasis on workplace safety has lead them to the conclusion that the event is unsafe and should not continue.
While we applaud the focus on keeping KiwiRail staff and contractors safe, we think this response is over the top. The Gorge Walk has taken place safely every year for over two decades. Apart from some minor bumps and bruises no one has ever been injured. The Lions Club know all the risks and have become adept at guiding people along the tracks safely.
Cancelling this event robs us not only of a fun day out but also a vital source of funds for local charities including Arohanui Hospice.
We call on KiwiRail to reverse their decision and to work positively with the Lions and the Manawatu Community to find a way to bring back this iconic event in a way that maintains KiwiRail's focus on keeping people safe. Will you join us?
We request that KiwiRail work with the Woodville Lions Club to continue the annual Manawatu Gorge Walk, an event that raises much needed money for charities doing vital work in our community and has run for two decades without any serious incident.