The sealing of Main South Road celebrations arrived. What an amazing day! Rain was looming but it stayed away all day. At 2pm on 31st January 2015 over 250 people from all over Manawatu and beyond including motorhomes, classic car and MG enthusiasts joined in the celebrations at the Rangiwahia Hall.
Before entering the Rangiwahia Hall, at either entrances, attendees passed by flowers arranged by Nora Clifton.
The Hall looked fabulous with flowers on the stage and table, afternoon tea all set up, balloons and A3 laminated photos put up around the main hall. Visitors were greeted by the some of our friendly ladies of Rangiwahia, as well as Janet Reynolds and Kate from Destination Manawatu, offering afternoon tea. Janet organised plenty of sandwiches & savouries, while the Rangiwahia ladies provided sweet plates.
The proceedings began at 2.30pm with main speakers Ian McKelvie MP, Mayor Margaret Kouvelis & John Salmon, former MDC Councillor. Lance Bickford, CEO Destination Manawatu, was MC. Speeches included a brief history of Main South Road, the submission processes, the importance of working with and involving locals in promoting tourism in Manawatu and the impact the sealed road will have on tourism in Manawatu.
Everyone was then asked to make their way up to Main South Road for the cutting of a ribbon to declare the new sealed Main South Road opened. Fulton Hogan guys directed the traffic into Mike Bourke's paddock. Our eldest Rangiwahia resident, Ngaire Hancock, ex-resident Rex Thompson aged 92, Mayor Margaret Kouvelis, Ian McKelvie MP and John Salmon, former MDC Councillor, collectively cut the ribbon.
After the celebrations those who had booked for a buffet dinner at the newly opened Apiti Bar and Grill moved onto Apiti.
It was an amazing day of meeting up with friends and family and being part of the celebration of the completion of the tar sealing of Main South Road opening up the area for tourism.
The crowd gathered in the newly-painted Hall
Cutting the ribbon near the northern end of Main South Road
Visitors checking out the new information sign on the Rangiwahia Hall.
This large sign summarizes the history of Rangiwahia with a selection of past and present photos. It also lists all the activities and accommodation
around the Iron Gates Experience.