A Splendid Array to Light up Oriental Bay

25 October 2013

Wellington’s landmark Carter Fountain will put on a better show than ever before, following the installation of a new interactive lighting system.

New LED lights, which can be remotely controlled and last considerably longer than the existing halogen lamps, are able to put on a more impressive light show while saving ratepayer money.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she’s thrilled with the new-look fountain.

"This is a smart piece of art for our smart Capital," says the Mayor. "It costs less to run and reduces energy use while offering far greater possibilities for light displays to wow locals and visitors alike.

"The old lights lasted on average 2,000 hours before having to be changed. These new LED lights will last 25 times longer at an average of 50,000 hours to provide a greater experience and much better value."

The Council’s Coastal Projects Manager, Peter Hemsley, says the old halogen lamps were costly to change.

"The old way we used to colour the halogen lamps was by manually adding coloured gels to the lights for certain events, and even then it was only static illumination of the fountain," he said.

"The new lights will in the future allow interactive control of the lighting system so they can be synchronised with events like the fireworks display and special events like St Patrick’s Day and Christmas. From Friday 8 November the fountain will be running a rainbow light sequence."

The Carter Fountain was built in 1973 by local resident Hugh Carter, who wanted to give something back to his city. He spent $70,000 on the fountain, which was modelled on a similar one he had seen in Geneva, Switzerland.

Carter dedicated it to his parents, George and Ella, and named it Oriental Parade Fountain. Tragically, only days after the naming of the fountain, Carter slipped from his launch, Kualani, and drowned in Wellington harbour. The Carter fountain was renamed in his memory.