29 June 2015
Iconic drinking water fountains are being installed at key community locations around Rotorua to encourage re-use of plastic bottles.
“The aim is ultimately to reduce the amount of plastic waste the city generates,” says Councillor Janet Wepa, who heads the project as Rotorua Lakes Council’s sustainable living portfolio lead.
“About 28 per cent of waste collected from households by Council is recyclable. Minimising waste is an important part of Council’s waste management plans and the fountains are one way we can contribute, by promoting the re-use of plastic bottles,” Cr Wepa says.
“We’ll also be providing clean drinking water as a free and healthy option.”
Funding for seven fountains, and the featured artwork, is coming from Cr Wepa’s portfolio with Cr Charles Sturt, through his sport and recreation portfolio, providing funding for five fountains and Cr Karen Hunt’s inner city revitalisation portfolio funding another. Keep Rotorua Beautiful is contributing towards two of the 13 fountains initially planned.
The fountains, which will be installed over the next month, will have a bottle filler option and water meters will also be installed so fountain use and the estimated reduced plastic bottle waste can be assessed.
Some of the new fountains replace old, existing fountains and more sites will be considered in future.
Distinctive artwork which will feature on the fountains has been designed by award-winning Rotorua artist Kereama Taepa.
“Thanks to Kereama’s fantastic artwork, these fountains are set to become an artistic feature of parks around the city, as well as providing fresh drinking water,” Cr Wepa says.
"I think the fountains will be a real asset for many reasons. They were something which was requested by quite a number of people who contributed feedback and ideas through the Ideas Store which Council set up late last year."
In January the public was asked to indicate preferred sites for the fountains and discussions were held with the sport and recreation portfolio strategy steering group, which represents a wide range of community groups.
“This is something I’ve been keen to see happening for quite some time,” Cr Wepa says. “I’m excited we’re now at the point where we’re starting to install the new fountains, in collaboration with other Council portfolios, particularly sport and recreation. It’s also great that Keep Rotorua Beautiful has been able to contribute – it’s been a real joint effort.”
Drinking fountain locations
• Youth spaces in Fordlands, Ngongotaha, Mamaku and Park Road;
• Karenga Park, Koutu;
• Ranolf Street Skate Park (Sheaf Park);
• Hannah’s Bay;
• Lakefront playground;
• Tokorangi triangle visitor centre (Long Mile Drive);
• Puarenga Park (Soccer park)
• Government Gardens (‘Telly Tubby hills’ area);
• Puketawhero Park (rugby league park);
• Outside inner city Post Office (Corner Tutanekai and Pukuatua streets).
About Kereama Taepa
• Artwork and design spanning traditional and digital media;
• Waiariki Institute of Technology lecturer/tutor in Digital and Graphic Art, Photography, Computer Aided Fashion Design and Sculpting;
• His fashion label Urbanmaori was twice a finalist in the Miromoda Indigenous Fashion Awards and his designs featured in the Miromoda show at New Zealand Fashion Week in 2010 and 2011;
• Exhibits nationally and internationally;
• Designed the award-winning shrouds featured on the Redwoods toilets in Rotorua;
• 2008 Molly Morpeth 2D Art Award supreme award winner and 2002 open award winner at Manawatu Potter’s Society Awards.