Pho­tog­ra­phers take risk

Seat planned to de­ter jay­walk­ers

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

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

di­rect­ing

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.

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