Bobs bird trap
Bobs bird trap and future phosphate mining site near the town baths.

Is the artist worthy of our salt? By the sounds of it.

An improvement? Yep.

Is $22 a ratepayer really a major problem for showing traffic something decent to associate Masterton with? Not really…i’m in a good mood today.

Will it lead to phosphate mining opportunities below the installation (from all the birds that will perch and shit)? Yes.

Could the money be better spent else where? Yes.

The population of Masterton is getting older and is stagnant in number. We need to attract people here.

How could $250,000 be better spent in my humble opinion:

I know more than a few decent sized businesses on Queen St that pay about 15k a year in rates. So lets say that 250k could provide 16.6 good businesses with free rates for a year, which they could use to improve facilities or pay down debt. That could be nice. Having a dead or struggling main drag does nothing for no town- and a lot of businesses are struggling now, especially with the dairy farmers being puckered. Or King Street Live, the only arts and entertainment enterprise I can think of around here deserving of more public tit than its getting now (it’s a great place with national and world class acts visiting often).

Lets take out the High Street aspect just for arguments sake and carry on here.I admit the opportunity cost of losing the phosphate mine ten years from now is not calculated too.

$22 / ratepayer. Based on an average of $1400 a year in rates, that could be a 1.5% reduction in rates for the average RP. Which would bring council from the shameful position of thinking the +3.9% rates rise  is something to be proud of,  to something like 2.4%- almost worthy of giving a high five to all the councillors and staff. All this from just refusing to install fancy scheme from the arts elite grant-mafia who want big city art in their town. Imagine what wonders could be achieved if only similar push back occurred with other projects. Maybe the oft-quoted “impossible” could happen- zero % rates increases?!!!

Lets look at one final option.

Lets not spend the money, lets not give the ratepayers some back, lets  give a rates holiday to new people/businesses  teetering on a move here. Lets put a notice up that there is an opportunity (tied in with the outstanding My Masterton Campaign, Nixon) for 8 large businesses to take advantage of a one year rates holiday (worth 31k each) who are prepared to move here from Auckland and set up operations. I don’t need to do the maths on the tangible results that would mean mean for a town like Masterton. And we have already seen the Sports Institiute lured here by numbers alone ( Cnr. Jackson & High St) But no, unfortunately these kinds of ideas are not even considered here.

Some people think going to Aratoi cake parties and hanging a McIntyre on their wall gives them the right to consistently come up with wacky posh ways to spend the towns money. $22 per ratepayer for this quite cool installation is not much, but as ever, the town’s worthies don’t seem to be able to treat our money with the same respect they no doubt treat their own, and lack any sort of vision or strategic plan for Masterton long term. Worse still, many of these long in the tooth merinos that make up the Aratoi lobby group and ideas-army actually live out of Masterton and don’t contribute to our rates.

High time some people stand for council who are in it for the ratepayers and not the social club. Council just doesn’t have to have the balls to hold anyone- especially themselves- to account.

What do you think?

I bet you this sculpture will blow out in cost too. Just you wait. Im picking by at least 30%.