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Circus leaves muddy mess

The extent of the damage at Queen Elizabeth Park after Weber Bros Circus left Masterton. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

Council holds on to venue bond


The circus came to town … and left Masterton’s Queen Elizabeth Park in a terrible mess.

Two weeks ago, the Weber Bros Circus arrived at the venue, bringing an array of action-packed attractions in their new two-hour long show, Adrenaline.

However, when they departed on Monday afternoon as the severe weather warning came through, the green space beside the ChildrensOwn playground was left torn up by tyre tracks and dotted with muddy puddles.

Circus manager Marie Weber said heavy rain and flooding had contributed to the state of the grounds.

“During the winter months we try to get hard stand grounds because of the rain. Unfortunately, I don’t think we, nor the council, knew how much it was going to rain during the week.”

The stream running alongside the playground had flooded on the first night of heavy rainfall.

Weber said the Masterton audience had been fantastic and they hoped their performances would outweigh the damage done to the grounds.

Many residents were upset by the mess left behind but understood it was a result of the weather.

A Masterton woman, who wanted only to be known as Leanne, asked why the circus wasn’t hosted at Henley Lake.

“It could be cleaned up easily on the concrete. At least the ducks are loving it.”

Ali Scott, also of Masterton, said the circus couldn’t be blamed for the weather.

“They’ve been here heaps of times before and there’s been no problem.”

The last time the Weber Bros Circus performed in Masterton was more than 10 years ago.

The new show included freestyle motocross riders riding the globe of death, comedic clowns, and a human cannon display unseen in this country for decades.

A spokesperson for the Masterton District Council said it had worked closely with the circus operators to ensure measures were taken to protect the park.

The damage was caused when heavy machinery was used to remove the circus infrastructure and had resulted in the circus losing its $2500 bond.

Repairs to the green space would be covered by this bond at no additional cost to ratepayers.


  1. So, the council gives them a venue which obviously was NOT FIT FOR THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH IT WAS HIRED and then tries to steal $2500 from the circus. If I was the circus I would be looking for a lawyer to take MDC to court, as they’re obviously trying to shift the blame for their bad venue management practices onto a small business instead of taking the blame themselves, because MDC are the ones wholly in the wrong here, and nobody else.

  2. This looks much like the field next to mine after the Recreation Services have ‘mowed’ it! Another case of the pot calling the kettle black from our own despised MDC. Happy to blame everybody else, but don’t themselves give a stuff about rules. If they did then we’d be able to see cars indicators on the other side of roundabouts, and then we’d match the requirements of the Road Code regards obstruction on highways. There are several NZ Road regulations that MDC ignores (i.e. MDC uses an Australian civil engineering handbook to base their decisions on despite several of the rules within actually being in contravention of our own NZ Transport agency’s rules) and by doing so are breaking the laws of NZ – but I guess when you can just do what you want whenever you want, then you wouldn’t care about such things as the law of the land.

    Anyway, SO MDC are now gonna STEAL $2500 from a circus because they left behind a muddy field – it HAS BEEN RAINING!!!! Seriously… where does this council get off…?

  3. Did the Circus challenge this, how can the Council justify the level of attribution of the ability to maintain the grounds in such terrible wet conditions. Its no ones fault and they should release the funds immediately. Risk being the circus won’t come back – all for the sake of a few sacks of grass seeds.

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