Thursday, April 7, 2011

Waka Tacky Tiki

Tighten your belts - the country's in trouble! Oh...but hang about, here's $2mill.for a giant plastic maori canoe. WTF???!!!
Plastic culture
A very hush-hush government grant for a waka-shaped "cultural pavilion" is being slammed...and rightly so! The govt's flicked the dosh to Ngati Whatua o Orakei for a 60m-long 15m-high plastic canoe-shaped pavilion on Queen's Wharf, in which to host cultural performances during the *yawn* Rugby World Cup [here's some concept artwork of it].
Flak is inbound on all sides - in fact the only people happy with this 'slip-it-under-the-radar' project are the govt and naturally the iwi (tribe) itself, which gets to own the pavilion for nix! Its trustee Ngarimu Blair says the money will be well spent: "Maori are also taxpayers and we like to see our taxpayer dollars going on things we also enjoy." Riiiiiiiiiight!! But is this for local maori? Or is this for tourism? Remember, the last "cultural performance" venue that opened in Auckland? It crashed under millions of dollars' debt. Why should this monstrosity, plonked on prime harbour real estate, be any diifferent? Surely if tourists wanna be screamed at by halfnaked men with eyes agog and tongues dragging on the ground, they'd go to a marae for the whole package and a microwaved hangi.
Critics say the project is an appalling use of taxpayer money, and the plastic construction damages NZ's clean green image. When the government is already borrowing more than $300 million a week, this is very difficult to stomach: $2mill.on an 18-day project works out at about 110K a day for a blow-up waka! I'm instantly reminded of those cheap plastic mass-produced tacky maori tikis from the 70s... choice, bro.
But it's a done deal: construction's already underway and should be finished by early October.
Who knew, huh...? Did anyone hear any calls for public consultations? Any requests for tenders? Does anyone smell an election year carrot?
Mark my words, once the *yawn* RWC is over, this thing will end up on the scrapheap...!
PS: 07 April 2011 - The Opposition's called it Tupperwaka cronyism! Spot on!

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