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Prime Minister Makes An Ass Of Taxpayers

Prime Minister Makes An Ass Of Taxpayers

Tuesday 13 July 2004

Deborah Coddington

Press Releases - Other

ACT New Zealand Arts, Culture and Heritage Spokesman Deborah Coddington demanded that Prime Minister Helen Clark explain just why she thinks it's a good idea to spend $500,000 on a port-a-loo that makes donkey noises, and then explodes, in the name of art.

"Thanks to Miss Clark - also the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage - Labour has forked out half a million dollars of taxpayers' money to send this `art' to the Venice Biennale to showcase New Zealand contemporary art," Miss Coddington said.

"Yesterday, Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage MinisterJudith Tizard said the Government would not give any more money to Te Papa - an institution hugely popular with New Zealanders - 'the taxpayer would take a dim view if we said yes to absolutely everything'.

"Well, Misses Tizard and Clark should tell us why funding a braying dunny 'installed' by an artist who won't even reveal her true name but goes under various monikers - also in the name of 'art' - is not 'saying yes to absolutely everything'.

"Both the Prime Minister and Ms Tizard display the typical arrogant elitism that gives the arts a bad name.

"I don't advocate scrapping all State support for the arts, but choosing works like this shows that New Zealanders are being laughed at in the same way this Government decided to send people overseas to study hip-hop. It's crap - and most New Zealanders know it.

"We have many brilliant, talented, and serious artists in this country, but they are ignored by this Government. While Ms Tizard is always happy to be photographed alongside artists at Te Papa, she tosses the museum aside when it suits," Miss Coddington said.


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