Photographers take risk
Seat planned to deter jaywalkers
Concern for the safety of tourists standing on the road to take photos of the Gatehouse has prompted plans for a specified photography spot.
Matamata Community Board is proposing to install a seat on Broadway, opposite the building, for visitors to sit on and have their photo taken.
Chairman Daryl Anderson said there would be signage outside the Gatehouse to the seat.
‘‘Obviously we are not going to be able to force anyone there and we don’t expect to stop jaywalking or people standing on the road completely – but we want to provide a safe opportunity,’’ he said.
Board members had received a number of complaints and concerns from residents about
tourists pedestrians on Hetana St, he said.
‘‘ That’s where the idea was launched from – the stupidity of people on the road was a real concern.’’
The Chronicle last week witnessed a motorist forced to stop for a group of tourists gathered on the road outside the Gatehouse. They did not move until the motorist beeped his horn.
Comments on the Chronicle Facebook page indicated that this was a common problem.
Shannon White said: ‘‘They just walk out in front of you without even looking or just stand in the way and don’t move so you have to wait for them to take their photos.
‘‘I think it is becoming a problem and sooner or later someone is going to get hit by a car.’’
Others reported having had near misses and one said more pedestrian crossings would help.
Sharon Pratt said: ‘‘Yes we have had to wait for tourists to stand on the road and take photos but what’s the rush they are taking photos of our beautiful icon [sic].’’
Mr Anderson said the board had received private funding for the photo seat and Matamata Piako District Council supported it.
They were now waiting on the final design and position of the seat to be confirmed.
Photos: NICOLA STEWART.