Spoilsport Council

December 18th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Photo by Phil Reid/Fairfax.

The Dom post reports:

A “public art installation” that has sprung up in a bus shelter will be dismantled in favour of wooden benches.

A Brooklyn bus shelter was mysteriously transformed into an impromptu lounge room at the weekend, complete with two tattered couches, a small library and a hot water bottle.

By early yesterday someone had added Christmas tinsel, a clock, a picture, an icecream container full of lemons and a life-sized plastic dog.

I think that is great. How cool would it be to have couches to sit on and books to read at a bus stop.

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said the council was no closer to uncovering who was responsible. He said the scene would be removed before contractors arrived tomorrow to reinstall benches.

Why?

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32 Responses to “Spoilsport Council”

  1. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    it takes a certain type of person to work at the council for any length of time…

    usually its the type of person who thinks the city would run a lot better if it didn’t have any people in it.

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  2. Rich Prick (1,719 comments) says:

    Tristan, they are Council jobsworths for a very good reason.

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  3. Bazar (37 comments) says:

    i remember when they upgraded the benches at the local train-stop. It was a nice glass transparent shelter.
    Wasn’t long before vandals had scratched it up, and only a bit longer before some thug had smashed the wall out.

    Unless this bus-stop is in a posh area, i suspect sooner or later, that the couch will start to smell like rotting piss or worse. Then the council would need to act.

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  4. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    Gotta agree, why remove the couch? If it was in an area where it was out of keeping with the surroundings (say Remuera) then I could maybe understand it, but from the photo it seems that the extras are adding some soul to the otherwise dreary little bus-stop.

    I guess the problem is that the council’s manual doesn’t allow for any deviation from the standard, or for someone to actually look at the setup and go “You know what? This works. Let’s leave it as is.”

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  5. Manolo (14,024 comments) says:

    Dour, dull and boring bureaucrats unable to see past their stupid noses.

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  6. mavxp (490 comments) says:

    I think Bazar has hit on the reason behind the councils move.

    It’s a sad fact we have feral people in our communities and this is open to abuse by drunks and bored losers. The council probably face disappointment on a regular basis by having their new instalments of facilities around our cities and communities vandalised and abused. That’s gotta be tough on your outlook on society.

    But yes, it would be great if this were not the case.

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  7. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    DPF:
    Why?

    Because it’s Brooklyn?

    After another week of being in the clouds half the time, that couch will be a living organism, and a health hazard that no-one will want to even go near, let alone sit on. That’s assuming students don’t piss on it or set it on fire first.

    I am sure that whatever Aro Valley Bohemians did this, thought they were being ever so cool and arty and public-spirited. (And probably ironic as well… is it still cool to be ironic?) But there’s a reason that normal practical ratepayer-funded outdoor bus shelters don’t have soft furnishings, and it’s not solely because council people are negative miserable killjoys ;-)

    But there is also some merit in what Tristan said at the start…

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  8. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    What some of the more enlightened others have noted: Council firstly have to follow gubbermint directives – laws – about qualities and standards. So dont blame Council, look to central gubbermint DPF, but then you knew that, right? And secondly, youre telling me that you honestly believe that some fuckwit isnt going to come along and trash it? Really?

    Yes, it would be nice if we lived in a world of fluffy rainbows and unicorns. We dont. Yes, its nice when stuff like this happens, but it cant persist, because there are morons out there who wreck it for the rest of us.

    Like the fact that public toilets have to cost $150K to build, so they are easy to clean and bullet proof. As opposed to a similar structure that would cost $30K (yes, real figures, not pulled out of my arse). Becuase in the real world, shit happens. And blaming jobs worth at Councils shows your lack of grip on the real world.

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  9. Lance (2,704 comments) says:

    It’s the rules
    It’s the rules
    It’s the rules
    It’s the rules
    It’s the rules
    It’s the rules
    It’s the rules………………

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  10. Lance (2,704 comments) says:

    The endless fuckwittery of councils reaches it zenith with swimming pools.
    Yes they are dangerous and need some provisions. Agreed

    But my goodness the stupidity of the interpretation of those rules would be too ridiculous even for a Monty Python sketch.

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  11. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    Also, did anyone else notice that it is the end of the academic year and this bus stop is right in the middle of downtown studentville?

    When I vacated my last student flat there were a few shitty old pieces of furniture that I would have loved to have just abandoned out on the footpath… but if I’d done it, it would have been considered LITTERING

    Art installation… pull the other one, it’s got bells on it! :lol:

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  12. Chris2 (768 comments) says:

    Back in 1978 on what is now the Duke Arcade at the corner of Willis and Manners St, there was a large empty waste ground after the pub on this site was demolished (who can remember its name?).

    The land remained vacant for about a year – it was the height of union strikes in the construction industry with the Boilermakers union having for years crippled the construction of the partly completed BNZ building down the road at 1 Willis street.

    So the Dukes site remained empty and after a while it too was adorned with a furniture, a TV, bicycle, an IBM computer server, even a skeleton half buried in a grave. Over night something new would appear, but the Council then was not so PC and the impromptu living room remained for many months, bringing a smile to all who passed it.

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  13. Paulus (2,656 comments) says:

    Wellington should worry.
    It is reported that Auckland Council spends just over 50% of its rates on wages.
    That of course does not include Contractors of which there are many also.

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  14. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    because there are morons out there who wreck it for the rest of us.

    Just like they wrecked the open piano in Auckland? The council had the right response then, they replaced it. People can’t have pride in uniformity, maybe Brooklyn should be asked if they want something different and could fundraise to run it themselves, it may even start something cool .

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  15. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    I’m afraid they comment above are right. I think it’s awesome, but with Wellington weather it can’t last. One half-decent storm and it will get soaking wet and start to rot. They might leave it a little longer – it’s the right time of year for it – but it was only ever going to be short term.

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  16. Elaycee (4,403 comments) says:

    @Chris2:

    Back in 1978 on what is now the Duke Arcade at the corner of Willis and Manners St, there was a large empty waste ground after the pub on this site was demolished (who can remember its name?).

    I think you may have been referring to the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/the-wellingtonian/features/street-history/7665341/Street-history-Manners-St

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  17. Chris2 (768 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee – thanks, that’s the one.

    I think too the site, when it was empty, was often referred to as the Roxy theater site, because the Roxy theater was a few doors away. This theater was famous for its continuous movie screenings during the day – you just went in and stayed as long as you wanted. If you joined a movie part way through you stayed until that bit came around again. A great undisturbed retreat for young couples ….

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  18. Viking2 (11,547 comments) says:

    Business opportunities are all around us. Just need more entrepreneur’s.

    Air NZ has Koru club so perhaps Welly Bus could franchise bus stops using an upgraded platform and sell the modern lounge style to the elite in places like Karori and surrounds. Just need to do a deal with countdown who now have grocery displays at bus stops, a descent coffee supplier and it would all come together.

    Mind you would have to ensure that the busses always ran late. :lol:

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  19. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    the elite in places like Karori and surrounds.

    The what?

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  20. rightoverlabour (114 comments) says:

    Its a council. Probably some health and safety issue. Probably some dumb F$%^ck with nothing better to do. But its Wellington, so who gives a flying F#$%ck.

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  21. shoreboy57 (140 comments) says:

    By contrast, check this out from Shetland. proof a Council can have a sense of humour

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unst_Bus_Shelter

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  22. Colville (2,298 comments) says:

    shoreboy, the difference is in the Shetlands they are all related/f*cking each other whereas in Wellington…oh wait….

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  23. muggins (3,800 comments) says:

    I reckon they should have been able to have put a bed in it.
    Now that could have made for some interesting entertainment.

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  24. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    What, there are no Unicorns…?

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  25. Left Right and Centre (2,994 comments) says:

    RRM says: *That’s assuming students don’t piss on it or set it on fire first.*

    Read my mind. Comments are right on the money. And Brooklyn is….. errrrr a bit ‘special’??

    In an unrelated story from just down the road from that bus stop, my then gf two years or so back wanted to call the Sallies to fetch a table she no longer wanted. I said don’t bother… put it out on the street and say abracadabra. Put it out at I don’t know… midnight? We went out thirty minutes later or something…. GONE!!!! She was gobsmacked. That’s good service I reckon.

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  26. Lance (2,704 comments) says:

    Here is some ideas for better bus stops

    http://www.toxel.com/inspiration/2009/05/01/15-unusual-and-creative-bus-stops/

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  27. Viking2 (11,547 comments) says:

    Colville (437) Says:
    December 18th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    shoreboy, the difference is in the Shetlands they are all related/f*cking each other whereas in Wellington…oh wait….

    Plenty of red blooded Viking infused shelties in Wgtn. Colville. Biggest problen for Wgtn is it imports all those weak minded, socialist British mongrels with european origins. Pomersationcockaterriers. Now of course they have added black blood to the blue and mixed it up with that other seedy lot from the people of the Turrets.

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  28. Spoon (104 comments) says:

    Dunedin has just had the same thing:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/campus/otago-polytechnic/237409/all-comforts-home-bus-stop

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  29. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Why?

    Because we take this sort of petty, arrogant we-know-what’s-best-for-you dictatorship at all levels of government. Our elected representatives ought to be telling their bumptious little employee to pull his head in. But they won’t, because sadly their meek acceptance of encroachments on our liberty and freedom is, increasingly, representative of us.

    Wellingtonians ought to be dragging all their old but serviceable furniture down to their nearest bus stop while calling their councillors and ascertaining which ones support council staff issuing such dictats and which do not, and letting them know they’ll be voting accordingly.

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  30. kowtow (8,721 comments) says:

    No wonder rate payers are ripped to infinity.

    Some people seem to think councils should provide fucken manor houses for passengers to wait in for the bus!Bollox.

    A sign , some paint and an umbrella used to be good enough!

    Arse holes leaving rubbish on the pavement in a bus shelter (expressing their individuality and character) for some other arsehole to set fire to,or to push into the street in ordr to express his individuality………

    All the while the rate payer as usual picks up the tab.

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  31. cubit (357 comments) says:

    You need all that stuff in the Shetlands bus stop. Because it is a bloody long wait for the bus, cos there ain’t no buses!

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  32. Akaroa (578 comments) says:

    Yeah! Very clever! Very smart!

    Never been done before, anywhere, anytime, by anyone, ever!.

    Sonny, why don’t you take your funny furniture and infantile sense of humour, and go play on the Motorway!

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