So the folly of making an artistic statement in the middle of what will be a busy roundabout (at Hemo Gorge) is coming unstuck (and no doubt, if it does proceed, at some considerable extra cost to Rotorua's ratepayers).

With the Rotorua Council having adopted a "wood first" policy, it comes at something of a surprise to learn that it will be made of metal (unlike most other Maori sculptural work which is carved from wood).

Perhaps therefore, it is destined to become more ironic than iconic?

LEN WATSON
Rotorua

Nice concept
Re: Hemo sculpture.

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What a surprise. This is another now what project that the RLC has created.

When I first saw this design my immediate reaction was nice drawing and isn't it big.

I am a believer in the concept that if you draw something that needs to be constructed, that it is not a bad idea to get advice on the how before any commitments are made regarding funding.

For example, if a designer draws plans for a house, it is not a bad idea to get the builder to check the design to ensure it can be built.

I guess that all the proposed funding has been put on hold until plan B is worked out. I wouldn't like to see our hard earned rates or taxes go down the drain again like the money spent on the cycleway no one uses and the RLC never mentions.

DEREK PACKHAM
Lake Tarawera

Muddy waters
Going by all the writing about this sculpture, I can see it growing into a worse debacle than the mud issue, and of course at $570,000 it should be.

I wonder who contrived that figure. As usual the council wriggles with figures, creating the impression that it is going to cost us far less, but please use some common sense; nothing comes from nowhere, in the end we have to pay for the lot, as ratepayers or as taxpayers.

We also read about "An artist's impression of the sculpture". However, if you go to Google and type in Olympic Flame, you find several very identical images. In fact I wonder whether the Olympics own this design.

Why not forget about a sculpture that we cannot afford and decorate the intersection with a big heap of mud to promote the mayor's mud festival? It would be a great relief for everybody.

HARRY BRASSER
Rotorua

Petrol v electric
Six dollars to drive from Auckland to Rotorua (Letters, September 11). Wow! With my petrol guzzler costing me nearly $50 for the same trip I can't wait to switch.

But will a change to electric vehicles help us meet our national carbon emissions targets, as some claim?

At present about 80 per cent of our electrical energy requirements comes from renewable sources - hydro, geothermal, wind and solar - leaving 20 per cent generated from non-renewable, carbon-rich, fossil fuels.

Unless we increase our use of renewables, a switch to electric vehicles must be accompanied by an increase in fossil fuel electricity generation. So how will the reduction in carbon emissions come about?

DAVID PREEST
Rotorua