June 02, 2022

City of Colour cost revealed!

Officials have revealed that Auckland Council spent $320,000 on 50 art and lighting installations for the “City of Colour” event, while ratepayer-funded Heart of the City spent $60,000 to promote it. The Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance is calling for mayoral candidates Viv Beck and Councillor Efeso Collins to please explain. 

Documents released under the Local Official Information and Meetings Act reveal that Council staff have spent $320,000 on the production, installation, and maintenance of temporary artwork for an immersive light trail.

Mayoral candidate Viv Beck’s ratepayer-funded Heart of the City also pledged $60,000 to promote the event. Staff from the Council’s Development Programme Office claim that the sculptures and light displays are designed to bring people back to the city.

Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesman Josh Van Veen said, “Who is going to make a special trip to the city to look at an inflatable cactus garden or canopy of ribbons? There is a cost of living crisis. Auckland households and small businesses are struggling to pay the bills.”

“Councillors need to seriously reflect on whether this is the kind of gimmick they had in mind when voting for the Recovery Budget last year. We're now looking down the barrel of a $175 million deficit in the next financial year. The Council can barely afford to pay for essential services.”

“But maybe the real question is why the Council needs a Development Programme Office when it has given Eke Panuku, the economic development agency, an annual budget of nearly $40 million?”

The Ratepayers’ Alliance is challenging mayoral candidates Viv Beck and Councillor Efeso Collins to go on record and defend the City of Colour event.