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Just What Exactly Is Going On, Prime Minister?

Wed, 14 July 2004

Just What Exactly Is Going On, Prime Minister?

Deborah Coddington Press Releases - Other

With furore over the cost of sending an artist to Italy to showcase their braying exploding port-a-loo, it is time that Prime Minister - and Arts Culture and Heritage Minister - Helen Clark front up and explain just what on Earth is going on in her portfolio, ACT New Zealand Arts Culture & Heritage Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"This morning, the public heard that Miss Clark is `unamused' about the awarding of this funding - meanwhile, Associate Minister Judith Tizard is trying to pass the buck and accusing Creative NZ of being `arrogant and elitist'," Miss Coddington said.

"As usual, when the going gets tough, Ministerial responsibility flies out the window. Creative NZ says the braying port-a-loo is not going to the Venice Biennale - but they still don't know what the $500,000 of taxpayers' money is being spent on.

"So, here we have a situation where the Government arts agency has spent the money, but doesn't know what on. On top of that, we don't know who the artist is - a 'he', a 'she', or a 'collective'. Who knows where the money's gone?

"Then, to cap it off, Misses Clark and Tizard say they didn't know anything about it, and will review it, but that it's too late to do anything anyway.

"This duo loves being photographed with artists. They love patting themselves on the back for their patronage of the arts. But when the taxpayers dare to ask them simple questions, like 'is the emperor wearing any clothes', they claim ignorance.

"It's time these Ministers got back to the hard work of managing their portfolios, instead of swanning around attending the opening of every oyster," Miss Coddington said.


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