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Tractor upgrades slow but steady

Three years after an early morning extraction from Masterton’s Queen Elizabeth Park, there is hope that the vintage playground tractor and bulldozer will make a return to public use.

To great public sadness, the blue Fordson and a yellow bulldozer-style crawler tractor were plucked from the park in late 2020 after being found non-compliant with safety rules.

Public attachment to the vehicles prompted MDC to seek quotes for their repair from local steel fabrication businesses in 2021.

According to an MDC meeting that year in February, this was estimated to be around $30,000, although a local engineering company at the time said that it had provided a quote for half that amount.

This is when volunteer group Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park picked up the project.

Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park secretary Graham Dick told the Times-Age that there have been ongoing efforts to get the equipment up to scratch and compliant with safety standards.

“It’s taken a bit longer than we thought, but yes they are being worked on,” Dick said.

“It’s all being done by voluntary work, we haven’t spent any money from council or anybody else so far.”

Dick said that at the moment, the tractor was at a machinery painter facility being painted, but he could not confirm the status of the bulldozer.

Dick said that MDC has supported the project by putting aside $10,000 for it but that the group hasn’t spent it yet.

“Everything done so far has been donated by the people working on the project.”

He said that while the tractor was nearly up to scratch, the bulldozer needed some extra work.

“The bulldozer requires a little bit more work to meet safety standards, but the tractor should be back sometime this year.”

A spokesperson for MDC confirmed that $10,000 had been committed to the project, but it was “yet to be taken up”.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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