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Australian MPs Visit Arts Capital

Australian MPs Visit Arts Capital

Waitakere Mayor Bob
Harvey and the leader of the delegation Trish Draper
(Liberal Party MP for Makin in South Australia), in front of
a mural by Bethells artist Allie Eagle.
Click to enlarge

July 24, 2006


Australian MPs Visit Arts Capital

We can beat them in the rugby- and sometimes in the league.

And now the Aussies want to know our arts secrets as well.

A delegation of seven Australian politicians and their policy advisors has visited Waitakere City, looking at “arts-design” projects in several public buildings.

Pictured touring the Massey Library and Leisure Centre are Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey and the leader of the delegation Trish Draper (Liberal Party MP for Makin in South Australia). They are in front of a mural by Bethells artist Allie Eagle.

During the tour, which also took in the Opanuku Stream footbridge by Corbans Estate in Henderson and the Glen Eden and New Lynn libraries, the Australian group was shown examples of how art has been integrated into new building design, a process pioneered by Waitakere since 1997.

Examples of this functional integration of art at the Massey Library includes the carpets, book shelving and even door handles.

Waitakere City arts manager Naomi McCleary says what has become normal practice at Waitakere is still being tested at other Councils.

Creative New Zealand has distributed copies of Waitakere’s booklet on arts design all over New Zealand and as a result, places such as Kapiti Coast, Rotorua, Wellington, Dunedin, Rodney and Auckland have recently consulted with Waitakere on how the process works.

“In place-based public infrastructure, you are dealing with major architects and placing an artist in the process right at the beginning.”

“It is even written into our tender documents that the actual form for the building will have an artistic influence,” she says.


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