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Lighting may be added to the Craig Fountain when it makes its eventual return to the Oamaru Public Gardens.

The 105-year-old Italian marble fountain, which was dismantled in March, is being restored to its former glory after it failed in the early 1990s and was turned off.

The site is being prepared for the fountain’s reinstatement.

As part of the preparation, feature lighting in the form of coloured lights on the fountain’s base has been tested.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said lighting the fountain was part of a wider plan that might result in other lights around the gardens glowing once again.

“There’s been different proposals around reinstating the lights around the gardens. The poles are all there, but the original round tops were vandalised over the years, so they haven’t been operational for quite a while now.

“Theoretically, the gardens are closed at dusk so the question has been raised if we need lights. We are looking at possibilities, and one is to be able to reopen the gardens for the evenings at least, and reinstate the lights that were there and look at the lighting for Craig Fountain and make that a feature.”

He believed that since the fountain was being restored, it made sense to go ahead with the possible lighting project sooner rather than later, and said the fountain would look “quite special” if it was bathed in light.

That might lead to other areas of the gardens being lit, Mr Kircher said.

“There is an opportunity to feature lights in the trees and fill some of the gaps that way.

“We’ve got gardens of regional significance and it’s our goal to have gardens of national significance. This type of thing will help us get to that point.”

The fountain is expected to be back in place in March.

It was donated to Oamaru by James Craig JP and erected in 1915.