KCDC to sell sex pervert’s Tui sculpture from Paraparaumu BeachBy Alan Tristram
The Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) has decided to sell the controversial Tui sculpture, taken down from its Paraparaumu Beach site two years ago.
The steel sculpture attracted bitter protests when it was discovered the man who built it, Paekākāriki artist Brendan Nolan, was a sex offender.
He sexually abused two girls – one while she was shackled and the other while she slept – and in 2012 was sent to prison for more than five years.
At its recent Environment and Community Development (ECD) Committee, the KCDC also resolved that all funds from the sale of the sculpture would be used towards funding a replacement artwork located on a suitable site at Paraparaumu Beach.
It says the Tui will be sold through ‘an appropriate public sales process’ — and this will be done in consultation with the Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board.
The Tui issue is only part of a much largfer question about Nolan’s artworks, which were widely distributed through the district, and often represented considerable investment by the Council and community.
Earlier this year, a newly appointed public art panel met to discuss the future of the Tui and recommended Council sell the sculpture rather than spend more funds to repair damage found on it after it was taken down. Panel members considered the sculpture would always be controversial if it remained in Council ownership.
With regard to a second Council-owned Nolan work, a portrait of Paekākāriki writer and academic the late Jackie Sturm, the Council is supporting the art panel’s recommendation that the Sturm family be consulted before deciding to keep the portrait in the district’s public art collection or take it out.
Jackie Sturm was the wife of the famed New Zealand poet James K Baxter. And her portrait was prominently displayed near the staircase in the Paraparaumu Library.
Once the matter has been discussed with the family, the KCDC says, another recommendation will be brought to Council’s ECD Committee.