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Community To Paint Picture For Public Art Policies

Hamilton City Council will ask the community for feedback on two new policies that aim to guide decisions around public art, memorials, and monuments.

Council’s draft Permanent Public Art and draft Monuments and Memorial Art policies were presented to a Community Committee Meeting on Tuesday (18 May).

Both policies aim to provide more clarity around what public art is, along with a better process for accepting and installing artwork, memorials, and monuments.

The draft policies propose to:

  • Differentiate monuments and memorials from public art, so that depictions of individuals, groups, or events undergo a more robust community engagement process.
     
  • Establish an art panel to review and make recommendations around new artwork proposals.
     
  • Establish a process for dealing with existing public art that has caused significant upset to community members. The policies propose that a taskforce – made up of Council staff, Elected Members, Maaori representation and any other relevant experts – would review the artwork in question.

The wider community will have the opportunity to give feedback on both policies, with consultation running between 7 June and 9 July. Community views will be heard at the Hearings and Engagement Committee on 28 July.

Community Committee Chair Councillor Mark Bunting said he supported the draft policies, which could help Council to avoid future ad-hoc decisions around public art.

“Over the past year there’s been a lot of discussion around art and memorials, not just in Hamilton, but around the world. We have an opportunity to lead by example with our policy – but first, we need to hear what our community want to see happen.

“Artwork is a great way for us to tell our city’s stories and we want to make sure we’re telling those stories fairly.”

Council’s current Permanent Public Art Process was adopted in 2012 and last reviewed in 2016.

You can find the draft policies in the Council Agenda here.

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