Placing of art ongoing concern

A policy on artwork in outdoor public places is still causing concern for some Waitaki District Council councillors, particularly on who should decide what is art and where it should go.

The policy, under which a subcommittee is appointed to decide on art and its location, has already come under fire from some as putting the decision into "art farty" hands.

That term was used again yesterday at the council's strategy committee, as Cr Cathy Dennison tried to get more lay people on the subcommittee.

The membership of the subcommittee recommended to the committee yesterday was the council's community services group manager, chairperson of the community services committee, the Forrester Gallery director, a local artist and a sculptor from within or outside the district.

Cr Dennison successfully changed that, the committee recommending to the council that a member of the artworks subcommittee should be an elected representative from the ward in which the art would be located and removed the community services group manager.

Cr Gary Kircher said it was important a representative of the area where an artwork could be located should be involved in the decision-making.

Cr Jim Hopkins felt the subcommittee recommended to the committee was still too "art farty" and an elected member should be involved.

Some councillors also questioned whether the subcommittee should make decisions, or recommendations, to the council to make the final decision.

Cr Pam Spite said the subcommittee had the power to co-opt when it was required and suggested this could include elected representatives. However, other councillors pointed out the policy forbade the co-opted representative from voting.


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