An an­gel watch­ing over Master­ton

Wairarapa News - - CONVERSATIONS - PIERS FULLER

A bold move by a Master­ton dis­trict coun­cil­lor to give a con­crete an­gel a chance to spread its wings has led to it get­ting a per­ma­nent spot in a pub­lic park.

Master­ton Dis­trict Coun­cil has de­cided to give Elaine Hurn­dell’s Grace, An­gel of Hope a home in Robin­son Park near the north­ern round­about.

The sculptor was over­joyed by the de­ci­sion. ‘‘I felt that the town of­fi­cially has an an­gel. It brings peo­ple hope and that’s what we need,’’ she said.

Deputy mayor Gra­ham McC­ly­mont, who owns a con­cret­ing business and helped Hurn­dell pour the con­crete into moulds for the statue, was in­stru­men­tal in giv­ing it a tem­po­rary pub­lic air­ing in De­cem­ber to gauge pub­lic sup­port.

McC­ly­mont ad­mits he ‘‘broke process’’ by in­stalling the statue in a park with­out the coun­cil’s sign-off, but af­ter a con­ver­sa­tion with mayor Lyn Pat­ter­son, he de­cided to go ahead and see how the pub­lic would re­act to it.

He felt if he didn’t use his ini­tia­tive, his fel­low coun­cil­lors may never come to a de­ci­sion.

‘‘Coun­cils, by na­ture, are ex­tremely risk averse be­cause they are us­ing ratepay­ers’ money and that risk aver­sion ac­tu­ally ties our hands up in knots,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s bad in a way be­cause I broke process, but it’s also sorted the prob­lem and ac­tu­ally cut to the chase. In my opin­ion, we should do a lot more of it.’’

McC­ly­mont said be­cause there was no mech­a­nism to dis­play art on a tem­po­rary ba­sis the mayor has sug­gested they for­mu­late a pub­lic art strat­egy.

‘‘So that next time some­thing crops up and we have a Ma¯ori carv­ing or what­ever they want to put on dis­play, we have a way of deal­ing with it.’’

Large gath­er­ings at the statue at Christ­mas Eve and New Year’s Eve seemed to val­i­date Hurn­dell’s hope that it would be a bea­con of hope and re­flec­tion for all those who had lost some­one pre­cious.

There was only one dis­sent­ing voice when it came for coun­cil to make a de­ci­sion on whether to grant the statue a place in a pub- lic park ear­lier this week.

Coun­cil­lor Brent Good­win said he could see no artis­tic merit in the statue and felt it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate for a pub­lic park.

‘‘I think it is a mis­take,’’ he said.

The mayor replied that ‘‘beauty is in the eye of the be­holder’’.

Hurn­dell said she was not con­cerned about Good­win’s opin­ion and she was just thank­ful the statue had been em­braced by the rest of the coun­cil.

Fin­ish­ing touches are now be­ing put on the statue at her ru­ral Master­ton prop­erty be­fore she ex­pects to in­stall it in Robin­son Park next month.

PIERS FULLER/STUFF

Elaine Hurn­dell’’s Grace was made from a mould of her daugh­ter Mon­tana.

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