Contempt for the public

The Herald reports:

Auckland Council has spent almost $150,000 on a statue at a park where it later removed a rubbish bin, sparking outrage from the chairman of the council’s revenue committee.

The council is removing a third of rubbish bins to save $9.5 million over the next eight financial years.

The sculpture, at the Pakuranga Rotary Walkway, was installed in November last year, two months later a bin was removed from near the statue.

Local councillor Maurice Williamson, who chairs the council’s Revenue, Expenditure and Value Committee, said the statue is nice but not essential.

Hard to disagree.

“There are bins being removed that are frequently used, some that are overflowing in fact. People are incensed, I took my dog out for a walk and noticed bins missing left, right and centre.”

Auckland Council head of area operations parks and community facilities Julie Pickering said public art played a vital role in a livable city.

No they are not vital. They are nice. They are pleasant. Water, rubbish is vital. I’d argue playgrounds and libraries are close to vital. Art is not.

She said when considering what rubbish bins to remove in the area, the council factored in whether the bin was in an area where people are likely or able to carry their rubbish away.

This sums up the contempt for the public. We have decided that you should carry your rubbish away with you, rather than have rubbish bins in popular parks. It is one thing to get rid of rubbish bins that are rarely used, but getting rid of frequently used rubbish bins is the Council trying to change the behaviour of its citizens, rather than be useful to them. We see the same culture in trying to force people out of cars.

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