After yesterday's tongue-in-cheek stunt by the Taxpayers' Union, I thought I would wade in with my two cents on the mud row.

First, I want to be clear.

I understand the $90,000 worth of South Korean mud is not being paid for out of our rates.

I am aware the mud will be paid for using part of the $1.5m the government gave the council to spend as it saw fit on the Mudtopia Festival.


Despite the predictable social media outrage saying that money would be better spent housing the homeless or feeding hungry kids (which of course it would), I understand that's not how it works.

Even if the money hadn't been spent on mud powder, it was not an option to use it for the homeless - it was there for the festival.

I get all that.

I want the Mudtopia Festival to be a huge success, to promote the city and bring joy, attention and money to the city and the $1.5m from the government is there for the council to use to make that happen.

In its wisdom, it decided the Boryeong mud deal would help with that goal.

But there is something about it that just doesn't sit right.

Although it is not ratepayer money it is taxpayer money. And it's reasonable to expect that any spending of large amounts of public money be carefully thought through and be able to be justified as the best use of available funds.

Despite days to think about it and listen to the mayor's explanations, I am yet to be convinced.


Rotorua just spent $90,000 of public money on mud from South Korea. As the kids would say, WTF?