Most of the $250,000 cost of the glass and light sculpture in Queen St went into producing five 600kg glass and steel blocks set in the pavement outside the Civic Theatre.
The Auckland City Council yesterday released a breakdown of the costs, which included $178,000 in production costs and $25,000 for a prototype that was reused in the final work.
Glass artist Elizabeth McClure, who is demanding her name be removed from a plaque set in the pavement, was paid $12,000. Distinguished Maori poet Hone Tuwhare's fee for a haiku (Japanese poem) set in stone was included in a $5000 budget.
The Scottish-born glass artist declined to comment on why she disowned the artwork, but it is understood she is upset at being named as the sole artist when her role was limited to conceptual development.
Last night the Auckland City officer who oversaw the work, Jo Wiggins, said McClure was "very keen" the work be known as a collaborative project with architectural firm Architectus and street furniture company HUB Street Equipment.
The council was working with her and it was likely the plaque would be changed, Ms Wiggins said.
She defended the cost of Source, set in a "river line" to represent the Horotiu Stream that once ran down Queen St and illuminated by LEDs.
The blocks consist of dozens of strips of plate glass laid vertically, roughened and covered with an epoxy solution to make it "slip resistant and safe for pedestrians".
"It's a relatively complex installation in terms of how you make something like that, and of course it has to be really robust in terms of it being in the street. How they put all the glass work together was quite complex and then you have got the lighting and other elements," Ms Wiggins said.
Art dealer Gary Langsford said the city had ended up with a number of poor-quality artworks because the council did not have the correct procedures to get works of excellence.
He had seen Source and found it completely ineffectual: "One would hardly describe it as great art work."
Mr Langsford said McClure was a good artist who made fantastic glass vases and objects.
"Why on earth she is involved in creating a major, large-scale sculpture for the city I find extraordinary. You wouldn't go to an artist like that for a major sculptural commission in Queen St," he said.
Architectus director Patrick Clifford, whose firm developed the original concept for the sculpture, refused to comment.
"I have to refer you to the council."
* Fee to artist $12,000
* Design/development $15,000
* Prototype $25,000
* Plaques and fee to Hone Tuwhare $5000
* Project management $5000
* Production $178,000
* Installation $10,000
* Total $250,000