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1st December 2018

Masterton District Council has coordinated the demolition of an observation tower at Henley Lake following a fire overnight.

Police were made aware of the fire at the public reserve at around 1:30am on Saturday 1st December.

Unfortunately, the entire structure was set alight and demolition of the remains occurred on Saturday morning, after a thorough examination.

Masterton District Council is supporting Police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand in their investigations.

Chief Executive Kath Ross said it was heart-breaking news to wake up to.

“Every single day hundreds of our community members enjoy the Henley Lake recreation reserve. In addition, members of the team dedicated to looking after Masterton’s open spaces put their hearts and souls into the guardianship of these spaces,” Ms Ross said.

“This event will have an impact on all ratepayers, not just users, because of the costs involved with demolition and subsequent clean up.

“Unfortunately, it’s not the first time this tower has burnt down; the first tower was built in 1988 and survived until 2004, when it was burnt to the ground. It was rebuilt in 2006 and has since been a target for arsonists,” Ms Ross said.

“While police haven’t yet determined the cause of last night’s fire, I’m sure many people in our community will be angered if it is another case of arson.”

The Henley Lake reserve has received significant public investment and attracts as many as 400 users every day.