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Welcome to where?

The pou at the northern entrance to town. PHOTOS/ELISA VORSTER

Council aims to spruce up Masterton’s gateways
Council hoping for ‘fantastic idea’

ELISA VORSTER
[email protected]

Everyone knows how to get to Masterton, but does anyone know where the official entrance is?

It’s something Masterton District Council is trying to clear up with a survey asking for feedback on a revamp of the gateways into town.

The idea is being driven by chief executive Kath Ross, who moved to Masterton from Kaikohe last year.

“One of the things that strikes me when arriving into Masterton is you never quite know where the ‘entrance’ of the town is,” she said.

“I get the sense a lot of other people in town also think we could do better with our welcome.”

A council decision not to plant flowers on the roundabout at the north end of town caused consternation last year, but there are no clues in the survey about whether the result could simply be more flowers or something more dramatic like Oakune’s carrot or Paeroa’s L&P bottle.

“Understandably there has been a lot of discussion about the flower beds at the northern entrance – that’s just one of the elements we need to consider as part of the entrance into Masterton,” Ross said.

The ‘Home of the Golden Shears’ sign near at the north end of town.Driving into Masterton from the north, there are several signs within a kilometre indicating you have entered town.

There is a ‘Masterton welcomes you’ sign, followed shortly by ‘Naumai Haere mai ki Whakaoriori’, both just north of Fifth St.

Drive a bit further south and there are three pou off to the left in the middle of an overgrown paddock, followed by the giant ‘Home of the Golden Shears’ sign near the roundabout at the top of Queen St.

The pou at the northern and southern entrances were installed in 2015 and caused widespread public debate as the project blew its budget, costing more $90,000.

The initial budget of $35,000 failed to take into account the costs needed for clearing trees and other unwanted vegetation from the southern entranceway, as well as the cost of brackets for attaching the symbols.

The council hasn’t set a budget yet for the proposed revamp as it is waiting for the survey results.

Ross said the council didn’t have “any preconceived ideas” on what the revamp should look like and was hoping the community may come up with a “fantastic idea that defines Masterton that we haven’t thought of”.

The survey asks: If you were to change any aspect of the existing signs, garden bed displays and artwork on the drive into Masterton what would it be?

Respondents are also asked what makes Masterton different from other towns in the country and what its best asset is.

“We are really keen to hear from our community on this,” Ross said.

“Alongside the survey we are engaging with various community groups and taking on their feedback around where they feel the entrance is.

“The north end is a bit confusing but the south end is also – some perceive the Kuripuni roundabout as the entrance but meanwhile we have two different signs marking the entrance at different places in Solway and before the Waingawa River.”

Mention of the pou, and their cost, can still raise hackles among some residents, but Ross said the project is not simply about finding a replacement.

“The pou was a significant and important project and this is not taking anything away from that.

“This is about what should or could be done to enhance our welcome and give it impact.”

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said she was looking forward to hearing what residents wanted from the revamp.

“It’s not really about what I think – I would encourage people to give feedback and fill out the survey.”

The survey can be completed online until February 28 at: mstn.govt.nz/current-consultations/

Paper surveys are available at the council office, Masterton District Library and at supermarkets, cafes and other select locations.

Residents are also welcome to contact Masterton District Council on 06 370 6300 to complete the survey over the phone.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Move the Golden Shears sign to the south end of town by the bridge take out the silly poles they take too much concentration from driving they should be in the park.

  2. No disrespect to the artists who designed and built both the Pou and the roundabout icon, but I see neither as I enter town. My eye always goes to the Golden Shears signs though, as they have represented Masterton District for many years. It is nice to see them tidy near the new Tumu building going up at the south end of town. How about removing all the others and putting them in Queen Elizabeth Park where they can be better viewed and enjoyed by both locals and visitors. Suck up the cost of doing so, as they have already cost the district money better spent elsewhere. Simple is best.

  3. How about the council just doing its job: cost-effective, clear in purpose, and without endless consultations – just two signs on both ends of town: MASTERTON. The previous idea (the pou on both ends of town) do not add any value to Masterton’s identity – no impact and unclear in meaning (Indian totem poles?), yet we as taxpayers had to fork out another $90,000 for “putting Masterton on the map”. How to improve the town’s appeal and attractiveness? Councillors hire a bus and visit Wanganui – the answer to your questions (replicating their main street into ours might even tempt me to shop in Queen Street again).

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