Gareth Morgan will have to compromise on the location of a million-dollar sculpture to have any chance of persuading dissenting Tauranga City councillors to change their minds on the project.

The economist and investment manager will today meet with three of the six councillors who tipped the balance against his offer to put a 9.9m wind-driven sculpture on the corner of Marine Parade and Pacific Ave - outside his holiday home and apartment block.

They are councillors Rick Curach, Steve Morris and John Robson.

The council voted 6-5 last week against putting the sculpture on the corner, mainly because it meant losing two pohutukawa and that it was not a good location.


Mr Morgan's offer was pitched on the basis of the public good from putting the sculpture on the roadside where it could be built to its optimum height to catch the wind. It was too grandiose to sit inside his boundary.

A Bay of Plenty Times Weekend ring-around of the six opposing councillors raised little hope that meeting with Mr Morgan would succeed in convincing them to change their minds.

Councillor John Robson said the location did not make sense in that it comprised the art. Context was part of the experience with art installations.

Mount/Papamoa Ward councillor Steve Morris said the late Sir Robert Owens did not insist that the statue of Tangaroa sat outside his home. It was put in a place where it could be appreciated.

Mount/Papamoa's other councillor Leanne Brown did not want a secret meeting because the issue was in the public domain. She was very comfortable with her decision.

Today's meeting will also be attended by councillors Kelvin Clout, Bev Edlin and Gail McIntosh, who voted for the site of the sculpture. The other councillors indicated they were unable to attend.