Haka Peep Show
Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis has “resigned in disgust” from a council arts sub-committee, over a giant, black phallic artwork that has cost ratepayers $50,000 to rent.
Mr Vandervis said yesterday the council’s Art in Public Places subcommittee rubber-stamped a $100,000 spend on artist Rachel Rakena’s 3d video art work 'Haka Peep Show'.
The piece was unveiled in the Octagon on Friday and is in the shape of a deodorant can brand endorsed by the All Blacks. Ms Rakena describes the work as “towering black pou” (pillar or post) with a phallic reference.
Ngai Tahu has spent $80,000 on the art work, with council voting to spending another $50,000 from the Rugby World Cup marketing budget, something Mr Vandervis also opposed.
According to Mr Vandervis the artwork will be returned to Ms Rakena after the duration of the Rugby World Cup.
"We're paying $50,000 to rent a black penis in the Octagon? What's that all about?" he told the Otago Daily Times.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull dismissed Mr Vandervis objections.
"Does it matter? ... Cr Vandervis' comment is irrelevant. The work has been part paid for by the Dunedin City Council for the benefit of the region."
Ms Rakena said she did not lay claim to the artwork, unless no-else was interested, in which case she would take it back.
She expected the city council and Ngai Tahu would own the piece,
Art in Public Places chairman Cr Bill Acklin said Mr Vandervis had broken council rules by discussing a sub-committee decision and that such discussions were “100 percent confidential”.
"As far as I am concerned, this art work was funded from the Rugby World Cup budget and is nothing to do with the Art in Public Places subcommittee. Anyone who says otherwise is seriously breaching confidentialities".