Waka Plan Earns Praise From Art World

Experts are lauding the Government’s decision to donate two million dollars towards the erection of a giant plastic waka-shaped structure.

The structure will showcase Maori culture to visiting tourists during the Rugby World Cup, and will help to promote “Brand Maori” to the world.

Noted art critic Yvonne D’Fleury said that the decision to go with plastic was a stroke of genius. Ms D’Fleury said the concept of the plastic waka was ample evidence that New Zealand artists could compete with the most iconoclastic geniuses of modern art.

“Not since Emin’s unmade bed or Hirst’s daring pile of rotting meat has a work promised so much.

“This piece will brilliantly subvert the essential spirituality of Maori beliefs and customs, leaving visitors with a feeling that they have witnessed something truly grotesque and cheap. The visitor will be bombarded with fakery, their senses drenched with images and sounds of a deep culture that is utterly at odds with the plastic environment they are standing in.”

Art curator William Lamberger said the creators of the waka should be lauded for their bravery.

“This will be an incredibly edgy work. The issues facing Maori people today are complex, and include unemployment, poverty and social dislocation. This diabolical demonstration of draff will launch great gobbets of spit upon the aspirations of Maoridom, reminding them that we don’t really give a damn about their needs, so long as they dance about, make pretty art and keep the tourists happy.”

Mr Lamberger dismissed claims that the project was a waste of money.

“Two million dollars may go a long way towards helping Maori people deal with the issues they face, but what price art? Isn’t it more important that we encourage this kind of edgy and daring political expression?

“And what more daring symbol of the irrelevance of the Maori Party than a gaudy plastic waka crammed full of shiny shit?

“This promises to be a truly brave work by Pita Sharples and his fellows, a piece that reveals the inner torment of Sharples and his fellow MPs.

“Once up it will scream to the world ‘look at us, we have nothing to offer you, you are hungry and have no work and yet we give you nothing.’”

The plastic waka will be one of the largest art projects seen in this country. But recent large-scale art projects in New Zealand have been dogged by controversy and slammed by critics.

In September last year the live performance art project “Christchurch rumbling” stunned the art world, with the monumental scale of the piece earning praise from many critics around the world.

However, the February follow-up, entitled “Christchurch Obliterated” was widely panned, and was labelled as “tiresome, tedious and entirely derivative” by British art expert Naomi Lepter-Snock.

The February work was so widely reviled that people ran from it in horror and disgust. It is also believed that the February work will end up being one of the most expensive public art projects of all time.