The husband of a British envoy to New Zealand recently mocked the country’s beloved Wellignton Bucket Fountain, a well-known and polarizing water feature that graces the center of the country’s capital.
On Twitter, Toby Fisher, husband of British New Zealand High Commissioner Laura Clarke, called the installation the “worst fountain ever”.
After 4 years in Wellington it’s time to be honest with all of you: this is the worst fountain ever. Not @ me. pic.twitter.com/MLsXofgm5J
— Toby Fisher (@tobyfisherlaw) May 28, 2022
After his social media post, his wife, Ms Clarke, distanced himself from his comments. She was quick to say that her husband’s views in no way represent her opinion or the position of the UK government. “The Bucket Fountain is a much-loved part of Wellington’s heritage,” she added.
As the British High Commissioner to NZ I would like to make it clear that my husband’s opinion @tobyfisherlaw do not in any way represent my views or the position of the UK Government.
(…. checks notes…)
The Bucket Fountain is a much-loved part of Wellington’s heritage. https://t.co/pXL96CX7UV
— Laura Clarke (@LauraClarkeUK) May 28, 2022
The fountain was installed in October 1969 and was originally called a “water mobile”. It dumps an erratic stream of water through its buckets, spilling and splashing much of the water outside the fountain and onto pedestrians and spectators on windy days.
Mr Fisher’s comments have mostly been met with benign jabs, including from several MPs. “You’re brave Toby now!” commented National Member of Parliament and former opposition leader Judith Collins. “Fight Me”, replied Secretary of Climate Change James Shaw.
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The fountain also has its loyal defenders. ‘I was visiting on Tuesday. I grew up playing around that fountain. The inner child does not need a simpler time,’ said a Twitter user.
Another, on the other hand, agreed with Mr Fisher and said“I don’t even know why that weird thing is mentioned in travel guides. I was extremely disappointed when I first saw it. It’s just ugly and when you pass by you often get a little wet trying to keep social distance from other people on Cuba Street.”
After his tweet raised the hairs of the locals, Mr Fisher also apologized for calling the fountain “worst ever”. In the next tweet, he wrote“I am aware that this tweet has caused great consternation among the Wellington community. My apologies. I was mistaken. This was an autocorrect error. I meant ‘most stylish’,”
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Meanwhile, Mr. Fisher’s statement is just the most recent in a long history of controversy surrounding the bucket fountain. According to the Independent, famous actor Elijah Wood urinated in the fountain while filming the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ in New Zealand. Several people have also reportedly talked about the “pure ugliness” and complained about the frustrating technique.