‘Sensible’ decision on fountain
An open letter to the people of Matamata: Pete Petersen Fountain - resolution.
We accept that the decision to remove the ‘‘Pete Petersen’’ Memorial Fountain from its site on Tainui St is sensible.
To all the friends, supporters and people of the district who rallied to keep the water feature earlier, we offer this resume of events and reasons for our decision.
At a meeting to press our opinion that the fountain should be returned to good condition, council was able to give us copies of a recent engineer’s report outlining the condition of the fountain and what would be needed to make it workable again.
This report concludes that the concrete has deteriorated with age, internally as well as externally, to the point where permanent repair is not practical.
Any repairs would be cosmetic, not adding appreciably to the life of the structure.
After surface coating and sealing, the original appearance and aesthetics could not be retained.
Although this is disappointing, it was a relief to find that there is real reason to remove it and the decision to do so is vindicated, even though councillors did not know this at the time.
We are happy that the council has agreed to name a meeting room, off the main foyer, the ‘‘Pete Petersen Room’’ and display a plaque remembering both Pete’s BEM and his original gift to our Matamata community.
Council workmen exercised skill and care to remove the original plaque in one piece and gave it to us.
This was unexpected and was appreciated.
To the many professionals who freely gave their knowledge and time, and to other volunteers who came to our cause, we say thank you very much.
A lot of time and effort went into ascertaining that the pumps were in good condition, though we had been told otherwise.
However, the pumps are not the problem.
To everyone who helped to publicise our concerns, spread the word and get the council to look closely at its decision and find factual evidence for the removal of the water feature, thank you also.
The issue has dragged on, but the answer is satisfactory and sensible.
We consider the affair resolved.
-Wayne Petersen, Avelda Swney (nee Petersen), Steve Petersen.
A newspaper clipping showing the estbalishment of the Petersen fountain in Matamata in the mid1980s.