Your Views: Supporting Hundertwasser

The Hundertwasser project is sparking lively debate.
The Hundertwasser project is sparking lively debate.

Local benefits

How can Greg Martin, or any of the other mayoral candidates that are saying no to a Friedensreich Hundertwasser building here in Whangarei, use the excuse that he was not a local artist? The guy lived here in Northland for more than 25 years, he became an NZ citizen, he championed the Maori art and culture of this region and at the end of his life was buried in Northland soil.

How "Local" is that?

The majority of Northland artists are very aware of his genius and his love of our small city. We want his legacy to gift us with prosperity and international recognition. It would be a tribute to his belief that we are truly blessed, with our natural beauty, our cultural heritage and our "can do" philosophy. As a ratepayer I am more than happy to contribute to the Hundertwasser project. As an artist - I beg my fellow ratepayers to support a project that can benefit the whole city.

- Rosemary Dean, Whangarei

Museum costs

In regards to the HAC. The numbers in the Deloittes report are often quoted. We can operate Hundertwasser at a cost of $750k and that number is what the Kauri Museum takes through its door annually - that is easily achievable. Their website states Kauri Museum gets 90,000 visitors a year.

If we can ease people's mind about the fact that the Kauri Museum generates $750k revenue and has 90,000 visitors then the HAC should easily beat that. Considering the kauri museum is not unique it should be easy to convince the public/councillors.

- Sam David, Whangarei

Fine art

During a trip to Europe this year a friend and I were privileged to visit Hundertwasser Haus in Vienna. This experience was unforgettable, not to be missed, and right up there. It was the most enjoyable, relaxing and thought-provoking highlight of our holiday. This unique treasure included the best cafe we'd visited, a fine art gallery and an interesting souvenir shop.

Hundertwasser Haus promotes an ambience and harmony with oneself and nature. What a golden opportunity we have in Whangarei to embrace this unique Hundertwasser designed building, the last of its kind worldwide. What a huge benefit it would be for all New Zealanders, international tourists and especially the younger generation, most of whom tend to be excited at the prospect of such a vibrant and exciting iconic building to be built in their city. Let's not allow this opportunity to be lost.

- Heather Scott, Ngunguru

Correct analysis

I have written in support of the Hundertwasser project before. I feel compelled to do so once again. We must follow through with this project.

Andrew Garrat's letter, (Opinion, Sept 25), was very well put, he is absolutely correct in his analysis of city attractions. It is a fact, not opinion, that tourists pass you by if you do not have a point of difference or some special attraction.

A Hundertwasser building will put Whangarei on the tourist trail.

- Gillian Bicknell, Whangarei

Great incentive

What a great opportunity Whangarei has to construct a building sketched out by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. When completed it would provide a fantastic incentive to people heading North, to stop and visit, instead of driving straight through to the Bay of Islands as tens of thousands do now.

The town basin is a great asset but the Hundertwasser building would provide a focal point of such interest that visitors could not pass by without viewing. If it could attract 50,000 visitors a year and they just spent $20 per person in our town that would bring in a million dollars to the local economy.

The Hundertwasser is an idea too good to miss.

- Harvey Gadd, Reotahi

Toilet fame

This info may help clarify the worldwide importance of New Zealand citizen and local artist Fredrick Hundertwasser. My friends from Hannover Germany mailed an article cut out from their local newspaper (Hannover General) about a new book of New Zealand published by National Geographic. The book includes 200 photographs by Karl Johaentges from all over New Zealand.

The newspaper chose to include two of the photos in the article. These were a photo of the Hundertwasser Toilets (including naming Kawakawa) and a photo of the author freedom camping. Good for Kawakawa!

My friends in Germany who sent the article knew nothing of Whangarei's Hundertwasser plans. They sent it simply because it was news of New Zealand in their local paper. Upon hearing about the plans they excitedly replied: "When it is done, we will come visit."

Hannover is a medium sized German city of about 525,000 residents. It has the oldest Rugby Union team in Germany (1878). Teams from Hannover generally dominate the German Rugby league.

A Hundertwasser building in Whangarei will help to continue our positive reputation, with 1000 times more impact than our lovely bridge.

- Matt Hennessy, Tamaterau

Tourism boost

I am one of many people in Whangarei in favour of the Hundertwasser Art Centre and who can see the many benefits that the HAC will bring. To those who are opposed, I would ask if they have ever wondered why the scenic calendars always have photos of Cape Reinga, Bay of Islands, and Auckland - completely missing out Whangarei.

We need something different, something special that will make Whangarei stand out. As an attraction, the Hundertwasser Art Centre will boost visitor numbers to Whangarei, visitor nights and make Whangarei a new Tourist destination. Hundertwasser Haus in Vienna has shown that it can attract enormous numbers of visitors.

Other benefits will follow including extra employment and four star accommodation. We need an attraction of significance like the Hundertwasser to stop people (and scenic calendars) from bypassing Whangarei. Then our visitors might love it here too!

- Alan Curry, Whangarei

Gift to our city

There were protests about the footy stadium and the new bridge but they were nothing compared to the furore about the HAC. I have been trying to get to the heart of the protest and I think its largely the way the HAC looks. People can't cope with its quirkiness.

This work of art challenges this "square" thinking and that is precisely Hundertwasser's point. Those against it say it doesn't fit in but that is why his work is regarded globally as great art. Fitting in does not make you stop and think and realise things like "yes you can grow trees on roofs and doesn't that soften the city skyline beautifully".

Personally I love the HAC and know many other artists and art lovers who feel the same way. They are perhaps not the type to write in letters to the paper but they are there. I find the quirkiness of the HAC delightful, refreshing and inspiring. I am also in love with the prospect of a newly revitalised Whangarei (heaven knows we need a game changer right now). I will be heartbroken if this gift to our city never gets built. Heartbroken for arts sake and also for our future. Is this city really so "square" in its thinking? Come on, let's not let this one go. I believe its impact will be phenomenal.

- Jenny Hill, Maunu

Public profile

Whangarei needs a lift up and this is our golden opportunity to standout from the other cities and towns and get noticed for being unique with the new "Te Matau Pohe" sculpture bridge already famous on our TV screens on the Kia car ad

Imagine what the Hundertwasser will do for Whangarei's profile and public presence both Nationally and internationally.

We have to not let this amazing gift let slip through, because naysayers don't see the bigger picture ... think about the saying "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got".

Look what World of Wearable Art WOW did for Nelson and now Wellington.

The biggest national/now international art event, it is an "out there" show of art that probably 90 per cent of Kiwi adults know about and around 50,000 (I think) see the show in two weeks.

The Hundertwasser building would be a permanent show attracting New Zealanders and foreign people's curiosity 365 days of the year.

If you don't know business, growth is usually originated in innovation and marketing, this Hundertwasser building is one of the biggest international marketing opportunities Whangarei could possibly dream for.

But with all business an investment of money usually come into it. To make money you usually need to spend money. The returns will be tenfold and some for many decades.

The cost is nowhere near the bridge "Te Matau a Pohe".

Even if you don't understand art or "unusual out there" things, let's get with the play and make us even more unique and more loveable.

Whangarei Love it Here!

- Jackie Stoddard, Riverside

- Northern Advocate

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