Nelson Residents Association


Juan Novella Sculpture

19 October 2012

The Chief Executive

Nelson City Council

Attention: The Mayor of Nelson, Mr Aldo Miccio JP & Councillors

At the October meeting on Wednesday, members of the Nelson Residents Association expressed their concerns regarding the considerable over-expenditure incurred following the commissioning of the Juan Novella steel sculpture.  An extra 12.5% over the original estimate would suggest a lack of competent management during the course of the project.

Accordingly this letter is addressed to you under  The Local Government Official Information And Meetings Act 1987  as a formal request for a fully detailed and audited statement of all costs which have been incurred on this artwork. 

We expect to learn the cost of the sculptor's fee in NZ dollars, the cost of shipping from Spain to New Zealand with all associated official duties, taxes and levies, Additional engineering works carried out locally to complete the form of the artwork, Costs of site preparation and construction of foundation, installation of floodlighting, any payments for site supervision by iwi ( if applicable).

Presumably the cost of realigning the combined cycle- and walk-way will have been a charge against the project, in addition to insurance, consent charges under the Resource Management Act 1991 and the net amount of  goods and services tax which has been involved in the work.

Members expressed their opinion that the elected councillors should have  taken the time and effort to promote the idea  to the public sector for support so that it could be financed by voluntary donations as in the case of the Seafarers Memorial, The First Settlers and Abel Tasman statues.

In conclusion, some members commented on the use of ferrous material for the  sculpture instead of stainless steel which would be specified in a salt-laden environment.

Yours sincerely

            Ken Meredith

Secretary/Treasurer, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated  




(Reply 9 November 2012)

Dear Ken,

Thank you for your letter dated 19 October 2012

Thank you for the suggestion about sponsorship but the Council has normally fully funded the art works it commissions.  Your suggestion has merit and I will speak with the Council's Fund Raising Adviser.

Please find attached the spreadsheet of the costs associated with the sculpture.

The total cost of the Novella sculpture in Miyazu Park at the northern entrance to Nelson was approximately $224,000 including staff time and installation costs.  The budget was $200,000 as confirmed in the Council resolution which states:

THAT the Chief Executive be delegatd to commission a second artwork for QEII Drive as recommended by the Art Selection Panel and to a maximum value of $200.000;

The construction method of the artwork reflects the quality of the end product needed to filful the key actions in the Nelson Tasman Art Strategy.  The Strategy seeks high quality art on approaches to Nelson, and a community desisre for Nelson to be an important centre for the Arts in NZ.  The cost of the sculpture is comparable with similar installations in Wellington.

Yours sincerely

Richard Johnson

Acting Chief Executive


(Attached Spreadsheet)






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information for nelson residents in New Zealand

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