User Friendly? - Whangarei Leader - 23rd March 2010 (Pat Slater)


Are these cases for not shooting the messenger?


This week a poet was assaulted whilst reading his, apparently defamatory, poem about Whangarei.  Did this back up some of what the poet was saying?    

An Australian backpacker wrote of a “poor visitor experience“, during a six month visit.  It seems information sourced from various websites did not make it any easier to navigate around Whangarei.  Does this show we take things for granted and the importance of looking at things from another’s viewpoint?   

This person felt signage, footpaths and driver consideration were issues along with not feeling safe around some people encountered in town stating it was, ‘definitely off-putting to an overseas visitor’.  Although having good things to say about our bus service there were difficulties experienced around timetables and bus stop locations.  Are these things we are used to?

Worryingly, by comments made, it seems this person and who knows how many other visitors may tell others not to visit for the Rugby World Cup.   This writer wondered if any Whangarei businesses or council ever attempts to step back and see Whangarei as a visitor or customer does.   Personally, I love the diversity of Whangarei and the shops I frequent give me great service, I avoid those that don’t!   I have the advantage though of local knowledge and experience!

Let’s not shoot the messengers!  There’s always room for improvement!  I already know my ideas but I’m interested enough to ask, ‘How would you improve our image?’


Pat Slater