INDEPENDENT NEWS

Thousands Wasted on Art Project

Published: Fri 25 Oct 2013 07:44 PM
Thousands Wasted on Art Project
Affordable Auckland’s Stephen Berry today slammed the granting of $46,000 to Warkworth artist Ruby Watson to recreate steel constructions of native birds on poles to be displayed in the Rodney Local Board area. “Rodney still has over 600 kilometres of unpaved roads, yet for some reason Auckland Council thinks a public art project is more important.”
Stephen Berry is been a vocal advocate for Council restricting its activities to core business and does not consider funding public art projects to be included in that realm. “The role of Council is to fund the minimum essentials the city needs to function. Those are services such as rubbish collection, stormwater, and assets such as parks and roads, not the subsidisation of the art industry. Philanthropists and enthusiasts should be funding art projects, not the ratepayer.”
“While rates continue to climb at triple the rate of inflation and the Council borrows in excess of $1 billion a year, savings are essential to stop Auckland becoming the Detroit of the South Pacific. There are plenty of places to find savings without cutting core services and public art works would be at the top of my list.”
Mr. Berry warns the spending will not stop at the $46,000 the art itself is going to cost. “Prior to the election, Rodney Local Board also approved a public event to celebrate the art work early next year. I’d be very curious to know just how much that is going to cost.”
“Until rates become more affordable, spending is under control and borrowing is eliminated, Council needs to focus its spending on the must-haves, not the nice-to-haves. Affordable Auckland will spend the next three years holding our elected members to account for their spending decisions and representing the interests of Auckland’s ratepayers.”
Stephen Berry was Affordable Auckland’s candidate for Mayor in the 2013 Local Body elections. He finished in third place receiving 13,560 votes.
Ends

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