Following the lifting of Auckland’s remaining water restrictions in October, Mission Bay’s beloved water fountain will be switched back on this weekend.
However, Auckland Council is urging visitors to Selwyn Reserve to refrain from splashing about in the fountain this summer.
Built in 1947, designed by architect George Tole and created by sculptor Richard Gross, the fountain is in fact a memorial to Trevor Moss Davis, nephew of late Auckland Mayor Sir Ernest Davis.
The fountain was gifted to the city by Eliot and Stella Davis after the untimely passing of their son, and Ōrākei Local Board Chair Scott Milne is asking visitors to be considerate of the fact when they head to the reserve.
“We are very fortunate to have this stunning memorial located on our waterfront,” says Chair Milne.
“That we are now able to turn it on again is great news, and something we are sure many will be pleased to learn because the fountain really is an attraction that visitors from all over the city come to see.
“However, it is also a good opportunity to remind people that we need to be mindful and respectful of the fact that it is a memorial, and not a splash pad or paddling pool.”
Constructed of Sicilian Marble, fluted to catch the light, adorned with bronze sea monster statues, and decorated with thousands of turquoise-coloured tiles, the fountain is indeed one of Tāmaki Makaurau’s finest jewels.
Sadly, during the peak of summer, the fountain needs to be emptied and cleaned almost every week due to pollutants in the water such as sunscreen, broken glass, and discarded rubbish.
It takes almost 30,000 litres of water to refill the fountain and Ōrākei Ward Councillor Desley Simpson is imploring Aucklanders to enjoy the fountain safely and sensibly.
“Auckland is just coming out of one of the worst droughts in recent history, and we know that we need to be more careful with our precious water resources. Although we are delighted to be able to have the fountain switched back on in time for summer, we ask that visitors enjoy the fountain as it was intended – which is visually," says Councillor Simpson.
“Please don’t paddle in the fountain and be mindful of your rubbish – take it home with you or dispose of it before you leave. If we can reduce the required number of refills this summer, it will really make a difference to us both financially and in terms of our water use, and that’s an easy win for us all.
“We also need to remember that there are still restrictions in place associated with the pandemic, and we should be physically distancing to comply with those. The risk of COVID-19 spreading is heightened if we have people congregating around the fountain, and we ask that visitors bear this in mind when visiting the area.”
The fountain will be back in action by the end of the day, Friday 5 November.