By Zaryd Wilson

I stood in line for more than 30 minutes for a burger the other day.

In Whanganui.

Sitting in forecourt of the War Memorial Centre I ate it in about a tenth of the time while watching over the hordes jammed into Majestic Square for the first Street Feast.

It was amazing, and I guess that was the point. To get people out of their homes and into the community, so, well done Mainstreet.

But it did provide food (sorry) for thought.

Nothing against the market – the burger was delicious, honestly – but I guessed most of the money collected that night would have been bagged up and trucked out of town.

A shame.

Whanganui would have benefitted in some way – especially the businesses which stayed open – and it was clearly the novelty needed to bring people out.

But there’s food on the main street every night. The only thing missing is the people.

The Street Feast proved it doesn’t have to be that way.

Imagine if we all came out regularly in those numbers and supported local businesses, not just when the traveling vendors rolled in.

There are many outside influences on Whanganui’s economy but the one thing on our hands is where we spend our money.

Most of us will be spending over the next month with Christmas and summer holidays.

Make sure as much of that as possible is spent locally.

Buy from local artists, producers and independently run Whanganui stores. They make for better presents anyway.

And it all comes back around.

Disclaimer: The ol’ vested interest, eh? Yes, we are local business also trying to get off the ground and we could really use your support. Visit our fundraising site here: