Royal cleanup in budget

Seymour Square
Seymour Square

The royal visit might have cost the New Zealand taxpayer about $1.2 million, but work done in Blenheim was already budgeted for, Marlborough District Council assets and services manager Mark Wheeler said.

Gardeners, contractors and painters have been beavering away in Seymour Square since the visit was announced last month.

But Wheeler told the Express that all the work done, including paving over tree holes, cleaning the fountain and staining bench seats, was part of the Seymour Square operations budget for the year.

"When the royal visit was announced we simply brought forward the work a month."

The annual budget for Seymour Square was about $50,000, with a further $2,000 for the clock tower and $6,000 for the fountain, he said.

All the work done over the past month was funded from those budgets, he said.

The council building on Seymour St also got a $20,000 paint job, however, council had already budgeted to re-paint the building before the royal visit was announced, Wheeler said.

"There is an ongoing need to renew and repair the building which is budgeted. Similarly, the works in Seymour Square are required regularly and are being done from existing budgets."

Work scheduled in Seymour Square for next year's Anzac Day service was also brought forward and completed last month.

Fences were painted, as well as the fountain, chains, lights, flag poles and bus shelter, Wheeler said.

That work would have been done in April next year if the royals weren't coming to Blenheim, he said.

It was unlikely to be done again before the Anzac Day commemoration next year, but it might need a good polish, he said.


Work done on Seymour Square before the royal visit:

Paved over tree holes near the clock tower

Fixed damaged or loose pavers around clock tower steps

Mowed lawns, trimmed and lifted trees, dead-headed plants

Stained bench seats

Water-blasted paths, fences and pavers

Touched up paint on seats and clock tower

Cleaned and painted fountain

Painted fences

Painted bus shelter

Painted chains, lights and flag poles 

The Marlborough Express