Grumpy cat may smile

Central Leader - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

WATER­CARE has had a change of heart in the dis­cus­sion of pub­lic art­works be­ing in­stalled on a prom­i­nent Auck­land reser­voir.

In May the Cen­tral Leader pub­lished a story about graf­fiti-style art on the wa­ter tower atop Big King’s vol­canic cone that had been painted over by Water­care con­trac­tors.

The story elicited a large re­sponse from read­ers, many of whom were in favour of paint­ings such as the pop­u­lar ‘‘ grumpy cat’’.

At the time a spokesper­son for the wa­ter com­pany said pub­lic art was out­side of its op­er­a­tions of sup­ply­ing wa­ter and wastew­a­ter ser­vices. How­ever, Water­care has since soft­ened its stance say­ing that it will con­sider ap­pli­ca­tions for the in­stal­la­tion of art­works on its as­sets.

‘‘But only when ap­proached with a ro­bust pro­posal that in­cludes for­mal back­ing from the com­mu­nity – via the lo­cal board or a sim­i­lar or­gan­i­sa­tion.’’

Puke­ta­papa Lo­cal Board mem­ber Michael Wood says he would like to see the wa­ter tower beau­ti­fied.

‘‘From a per­sonal point of view it absolutely makes sense to make it some­thing that’s more at­trac­tive and ac­tu­ally add some amenity through some kind of art­work.’’ Mr Wood says the board has not yet dis­cussed that mat­ter but he aims to bring the is­sue to the ta­ble.

‘‘The other thing we would want to do is a for­mal checkin with some of the other lo­cal com­mu­nity groups. My ex­pec­ta­tion is that peo­ple will be re­ally sup­port­ive of some­thing, based on what we have seen so far.’’

Mr Wood says the long term goal would be the re­moval of the wa­ter tower. How­ever Water­care in­sists the reser­voir is a vi­tal piece of Auck­land’s wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture.

A spokesman says it ser­vices about 5000 homes in the sur­round­ing area.

‘‘There are no plans to re­move it, as to do so would cause wide­spread low pres­sure is­sues in the homes which it ser­vices.’’

Ta­maki Col­lec­tive chair­man Paul Ma­jurey says it is look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a voice in the fu­ture of the maunga fol­low­ing its co­gov­er­nance role as part of last year’s deed ment.

Mr Ma­jurey says the col­lec­tive will be dis­cussing with the Auck­land Coun­cil the ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture on all 14 maunga that are in­cluded in the set­tle­ment.

‘‘So the Big King is one of those that is go­ing to come up for dis­cus­sion,’’ he says.

‘‘The very clear, con­sis­tent and uni­fied vi­sion of the Ta­maki Col­lec­tive is the care and re­spect for the mana of those maunga as the fun­da­men­tal start­ing po­si­tion.

‘‘There are a lot of ac­tiv­i­ties and struc­tures on those maunga and there are very strong views about the ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of those.’’

of set­tle-


Blank slate: Many read­ers told the Cen­tral Leader they would like to see more art­work on the Big King wa­ter tower.

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