In an age when any decision about major civic projects seems to take an age, Masterton's newest public space in the centre of town has become a reality very swiftly.
The shiny new Town Square was officially opened on Monday. It is the talk of the district and has given this prominent precinct a distinctive European feel.
Though the concept had been mooted in the mid 1990s, it never gained traction until Masterton developer David Borman took the bull by the horns earlier this year and powered his vision ahead.
With the quick consent of the Masterton District Council and the backing of local trusts, the project is finished and happy citizens are already enjoying their newest public amenity.
Dignitaries descended on the newly laid paving in front of the Masterton Town Hall for the dedication on a gloriously sunny afternoon. The white and black stone tiles are laid in a traditional Maori poutama design, representing steps striving upward for the future while the layout of the square is in a classic European cross formation with colonial-style seating, bollards and lamp posts with a fountain in the middle.
Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson spoke to the gathering, recognising Mr Borman's drive and energy to get the project through. One of the major funders, Masterton Licensing Trust, was also given an opportunity to say a few words in recognition of its significant contribution. Trust chairman Craig Cooper says they had no hesitation in approving the project, which will be well used and enjoyed in the years to come.
Kicking off in May, most of the construction was done over winter with an eye on getting all the planting done in August. Mr Borman says the project was the culmination of the efforts of a lot of people.
"It's a good feeling to see it done - there's been so many people involved."
He says one of the benefits of a single person driving a project is that it avoids everything going through a committee. "If you've got one person co-ordinating a project it's a lot easier instead of having a committee organising it.
"It's the same as building a house, a critical path is set out, all the people involved are given part of a critical path and they are given times that things have got to be done by and it gets done."
WHO PAID FOR IT?
The $650,000 project was funded primarily through grants and donations.
Major funders are: $200,000 Trust House Charitable Trust, $50,000 WBS (Wairarapa Building Society), $50,000 Eastern & Central Community Trust, $25,000 Lands Trust Masterton, $27,000 Breadcraft (for lighting), $25,000 Borman Family Trust, $21,000 Masterton South Rotary Club (for seating), $11,000 Higgins Contractors, $5000 Prime Community Trust. Masterton District Council has put in $80,000, which has paid for infrastructure development related to the project. Fundraising continues for the $115,000 remaining.
- Wairarapa News
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