Source: Taxpayers Union
10 SEPTEMBER 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThe New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is applauding news that Rotorua’s infamous Hemo Gorge sculpture might – might – be installed in the next fortnight. If so, it will be over three years late and more than $240,000 over budget. The Union’s art spokesperson, Louis Houlbrooke says: “This ‘work of art’ is wasteful, over-budget, long delayed and, to be blunt, ugly. Rotorua’s 12-metre, 3-D printed and biodegradable sculpture was supposed to be finished in 2017 at a cost of $500,000.” “Three years later, at least $743,000 of ratepayers’ and taxpayers’ money has been spent on this eyesore which will only be enjoyed by the local pigeons. We fear that ratepayers will not see much change out of $1 million for this – this – well, it is hard to really say what it is supposed to be. It will definitely be a traffic hazard, distracting motorists once it is installed in the middle of a busy roundabout. Hopefully it will become a tourist attraction for ardent fans of wasteful council spending.” “This sculpture, if it ever appears, will raise questions for the hard-working ratepayers in the Rotorua Lakes district. Those questions would include ‘what on earth is that?’, ‘it cost how much?’, ‘why?’, and ‘who will be held to account for this crime against prudent spending and good taste?’” “Rotorua Lakes District Council was nominated at the 2020 Jonesie Awards for government waste because of their handling of this ill-fated sculpture over many years.