Carter Fountain

The iconic Carter Fountain in Wellington Harbour is named after Wellington businessman Hugh Carter. The fountain, installed in 1973, was a gift to the city from Mr Carter and was named for him after he tragically drowned in the harbour only days after it was officially opened.

Hugh’s father was George Carter and his mother was Charlotte Ella McKenzie (known as Ella).  Ella and her brother Sir John McKenzie founded the McKenzie’s retail chain.  George was the accountant for, and director of J.R. McKenzie Ltd.  

Hugh Carter’s uncle John McKenzie actively supported numerous charities and voluntary organisations and had a particular concern for education and the needs of under-privileged children and returned servicemen.  

In 1923 McKenzie joined the Rotary Club of Wellington. He was later to credit Rotary with having a profound influence on his life.

With his philanthropic view, McKenzie formed various entities to support the community, and he made Rotary clubs the main agents for the allocation of the funds in the trusts.


Portrait of John Robert Hugh McKenzie, about 1954

In 1938 McKenzie established the J. R. McKenzie Youth Education Fund and in 1940 the J. R. McKenzie Trust was created. Today, the Rotary Club of Wellington continues to have a member on the board of the Trust, and still administers the youth education fund to assist student in need in Rotary District 9940.


  • Rotary Club of Wellington records
  • Jennifer M. Gill. 'McKenzie, John Robert Hugh', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1998. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 May 2020)
  • Wikipedia
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