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Creative NZ have sent me this PR:

Creative New Zealand today has clarified the amount of funding provided to the Letting Space exhibition The Beneficiary’s Office by Tao Well.


Creative New Zealand invested $44,790 in the Wellington Independent Arts TrustLetting Space project; a public art programme of six exhibitions.  Tao Well’s exhibition is the third in the series. The curators leading the project are Sophie Jerram and Mark Amery. towards curating and commissioning public art works as part of the


Creative New Zealand understands that Tao Well received an artist’s fee of $2000 and a further total $1500 for expenses for his project.


The artists working in this series of projects are looking to generate discussion in the community around social issues and art.


All applicants to Creative New Zealand are assessed on the basis of artistic quality and contribution to our strategic outcomes. Projects are assessed on the basis of the idea, the process, the track record of the people involved, the budget, plus, where applicable, innovation, community arts participation, and diversity (cultural diversity, Matauranga Maori, or Kaupapa Pasifika).


Creative New Zealand’s role as the national arts development agency is to provide financial support to artists, arts practitioners and arts organisations to assist them to research, create, publicly present and distribute the arts in their various forms.


We distribute around $11 million each year in Contestable Funding to support projects that develop New Zealand arts, artists and arts practitioners.


Letting Space is a public art programme in Wellington New Zealand that seeks to transform the relationship between artists, property developers and their city. It commissions temporary art works from leading New Zealand contemporary artists for commercial CBD spaces.


The first works in the Letting Space series were “pop-up” installations by Dugal McKinnon (18 April – 9 May, 141 Willis Street) and Kim Paton (21 May – 6 June, 38 Ghuznee Street). The next project Taking Stock by Eve Armstrong will be in November 2010. They will be followed by projects by Colin Hodson and Bronwyn Holloway-Smith in 2011.

This just makes me even more determined to lobby for a budget reduction for them. There is nothing innovative about a guy advocating that people should stop working and bludge off those of us who keep working. Far from being innovative, this is a well established attitude amongst some.

I have an idea for ACT on Campus. They should apply for a grant to set up some human artwork in an office, with the artwork being them advocating that the top tax rate should be 25% so people don’t need to work so long to make ends meet.

How could that not qualify for the largesse from Creative NZ?

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Paid to promote virtues of unemployment

Keeping Stock alerted me to this story in the Dom Post:

An out-of-work artist is setting up a taxpayer-funded “beneficiaries’ office” in downtown Wellington to promote the virtues of being unemployed.

Yes – taxpayer funded.

He is part of a $53,000 performance art installation series paid for by Creative New Zealand and Wellington City Council.

Creative NZ is defending its decision to provide a $40,000 grant but said last night it was unaware of the installation’s “precise content” when the grant was signed off.

Well why the fuck not? Someone should get sacked for this. Or at a minimum Chris Finlayson should take $40,000 out of their budget for next year. Art is one thing – but promoting the virtues of bludging should not qualify.

Tao Wells, 37, advocates the opportunities and benefits of unemployment and says it is unfair that long-term beneficiaries are labelled bludgers for exploiting the welfare system.

It’s unfair that I have to work 60 hour weeks to fund your fucking life style, you bludging wanker.

Wells’ installation, The Beneficiary’s Office, urges people to abandon jobs they don’t like rather than suffering eight hours of “slavery”.

“We need to work less, so we consume less. The average carbon footprint of the unemployed person is about half of that of those earning over $100,000.”

I await the Green Party insisting that this pilot be introduced nationwide – that everyone gives up their jobs to reduce carbon emissions.

Backed by five “staff”, Wells plans to promote his unemployment philosophy publicly and debate it with politicians and the gainfully employed.

Remember, we are paying for this.

He described himself as an unemployed artist with a masters degree who had been “off and on” the unemployment benefit since 1997. Wells said he was receiving welfare and admitted his benefit was at risk by him speaking out.

Late yesterday afternoon his benefit was cut off after Work and Income learned of the project.

Not just a greedy selfish bludger, but a stupid one also.

He refuses to work, but is happy to apply for grants so he can preach about why people should bludge like him. WINZ should refuse to put him back on any benefit unless he can demonstrate sustained activity seeking employment.

Wells denied his pro-unemployment stance was hypocritical when he was being paid $2000 for the project. “We should never be forced to take a job. If you’re forced to take a job it’s a punishment. If a job’s a punishment then society must be a prison.”

Listen Mr Fuckwit, you are not forced to take a job. So long as you don’t want those of us who do work to pay you a benefit, you do not need to ever work again.

Creative NZ boss Stephen Wainwright said the agency’s role was to encourage, promote and support the arts. Innovative new work, such as the Letting Space series, could act as a powerful form of social commentary and encourage debate.

Oh for fuck’s sake. They seriously have too much money. Having a layabout wanker who is illegally claiming the dole, promote dole bludging as a lifestyle choice is not innovative. Would Creative NZ give money for a tax felon to set up an office and advise people not to pay their taxes?

This just makes my blood boil.  We’re borrowing $240 million a week and this is what Creative NZ thinks is a priority. Why don’t the staff responsible at Creative NZ follow the advice of Mr Wells and quit their jobs to escape the slavery of work.

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