This is certainly a topic for Matamata, however very personal one for the family. My thoughts would have been that the council would have been in discussion with the family and if needing to change, [talk about] what they propose to change it to, then get acceptance, then take it to the town.
2013-2016: Consultation and decision making, whether to renovate or rebuild the Matamata Memorial Centre.
2016: Council working party considered whether to include the fountain within rebuild. It decided a costing of $250,000 to provide a scaled-down version of the existing structure was too expensive. The fountain replacement was ruled ‘‘out of scope’’ for the development.
December 2016: Council contacted by family member, whowas advised the fountain was out of scope.
February 8: Full council meeting to approve tender. Council advised a second pump had failed and the fountain was showing signs of leaking. Council approved removal of the water feature and discuss with relatives of the bequester a plaque that acknowledges the bequest. February 10: News release issued, which included the above decision. February 15: Article published in Matamata Chronicle, includes the decision to remove the fountain.
February 23: Meeting with Petersen family & Matamata Historical Society. Mayor apologises for the belated consultation. A member of the historical society makes suggestion of a room named after Mr Petersen. Family members request it be named the ‘‘Pete’’ Petersen room.
They requested the council also seek public feedback on what should happen to the water feature.
March 1: Council calls for suggestions on Petersen memorial via its Council in Focus advertisements. March 7: Several family members question council’s decision. March 13: Council tried to organise a further meeting with the family. March 15: Family members and mayor interviewed by Seven Sharp. March 22: Matamata Chronicle publishes front page story on the issue. *Timeline provided by Matamata-Piako District Council.
Exhibition and the Historic Society Book Fair. One of the nicest things was to see a family - mumand dad and children sitting on the fountain reading their books purchased at the book fair. I too think it is tranquil and
soothing, the upkeep should have been kept and once upgraded will be an asset to the town. Many visitors and locals sit on it. It was gifted in good faith and we should be proud of this, I think it should stay. Makes our town more