07/06/2022

The husband of the British High Commissioner to New Zealand has expressed his distaste for the Wellington Bucket Fountain, a well-known and polarized water area that adorns the center of the country’s capital.

Toby Fisher, husband of British Commissioner Laura Clark, tweeted: “After 4 years in Wellington, it’s time to be honest with all of you, this is the best thing ever.”

Fisher’s satire is the latest in a long history of the Wellington Bucket Controversy. Actor Elijah Wood was famous for urinating in a fountain while filming The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand. The hull’s primary-color buckets are almost frequently stolen as souvenirs and require rebuilding of approximately $2,000 each.

Installed in October 1969, the fountain pours an erratic stream of water through its buckets, spilling a large portion onto the surrounding pavement as it descends.

The Dominion Post has recorded unflattering letters to the editor since the time of installation: “I think it is the sheer ugliness of the amazing thing,” one letter writer wrote. “The fact that it does not operate efficiently increases the viewer’s disbelief.”

Clarke jokingly chimed in to denounce his comments: “As British High Commissioner for New Zealand, I wish to make it clear that my husband’s views… do not in any way reflect my views or the position of the British Government.”

In my capacity as British High Commissioner to New Zealand, I would like to express my husband’s opinion Tweet embed It does not in any way represent the views or position of the UK Government.

(… check notes…)

The Aquarius Fountain is a popular part of Wellington’s heritage. https://t.co/pXL96CX7UV

– Laura Clarke (@LauraClarkeUK) May 28, 2022

Fischer’s comments were answered mostly with gentle taunts, including from several deputies.

“Fight me,” said Climate Secretary James Shaw.

“You’re brave now, Toby!” Judith Collins, Member of Parliament and former opposition leader, commented.

“Further proof that AU/New Zealand should sever all ties with the Crown and become a Republic,” responded on Twitter.

Other Wellington residents said that Fisher did not understand the magic of the hidden fountain. One commenter explained, “There is a fine line between worship and foolishness.”

Another said, “I love it because it’s so choppy and ugly and when the water finally dries up it’s frustrating and it takes center stage in the city.” “It’s terrible, and that’s why he judges so tightly.”