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Harbourside artwork gets green light

19 June 2014

Harbourside artwork gets green light

Detailed design and development for an iconic Auckland harbourside artwork commissioned after a $1 million corporate gift to the city can now start after Auckland Council’s Arts, Culture and Events committee yesterday (Wednesday 18 June) recommended the project proceed.

The committee approved a report on the proposed Michael Parekowhai installation for Queens Wharf recommending staff complete the planning, detailed design, development and delivery of the artwork.

Funding for the majority of the project has come from Auckland real estate company Barfoot and Thompson, who are funding $1million towards the project as part of a $2million gift to the city to celebrate its 90th anniversary. The remainder is being sought from private or commercial sources. While the additional funding is found, the council will use $500,000 from the Regional Public Art capital expenditure fund to allow the project to continue.

The artwork has a proposed budget of $1.5m and features a domestic New Zealand home on a blue asphalt plinth, the focal point of which is a giant bespoke chandelier – estimated to cost $705,000 – which fills the interior of the lighthouse.

The artwork – which signals a safe harbour and a welcome to all – represents a breakthrough in local private sector support for art in Auckland’s public spaces.

The Arts, Culture and Events Committee chair, Cr Alf Filipaina, said the artwork would be an iconic feature for the Waitemata Harbourside.

“Auckland is fortunate to have this opportunity. It is the largest monetary gift for a single artwork in New Zealand and the largest Michael Parekowhai commission to date in New Zealand,” he said.

The aim is for installation of the artwork to coincide in time for Auckland’s 175th anniversary celebrations in 2015.


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