Quick, (unless you already know the answer), think where “The Place Desired by Many” might be. I’ll make it slightly easier: it’s somewhere in New Zealand.
Auckland council bureaucrats have spent $500,000 on a new city slogan, which has already been condemned as “outrageous” by some councillors and does not have the support of new mayor Phil Goff.
The city’s proposed new global brand – The Place Desired by Many – was worked on by 115 council staff over two years.
Last night, Auckland councillor Dick Quax blasted the move as “outrageous raping of the ratepayer” and councillor Chris Fletcher said it was “a complete waste of money”.
It is the latest in a long list of brands and images for Auckland including the City of Sails, The Big Little City, The Show that Never Stops, the lava-coloured, frayed letter A and a stylised pohutukawa flower for the new Super City.
The new brand is the work of the council’s promotion arm, Ateed. Its full title is Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland, The Place Desired by Many. Folklore has it that the people of Ngati Whatua o Orakei know Tamaki Makaurau as “Tamaki the place desired by many”.
Who exactly are responsible for this half a million dollar train wreck?
work on the brand project has included focus groups, interviews, surveys and social media. Advertising agency Colenso BBDO and brand gurus DNA were used. A total of 115 council and Ateed staff attended workshops.
The Global Auckland project was overseen by an advisory group, which was headed by Jane Hastings, former chief executive of Herald owner NZME and included Ngarimu Blair from Ngati Whatua; Heather Shotter, Committee for Auckland; Dr Sudhvir Singh, Generation Zero; Michael Barnett, Chamber of Commerce; and Viv Beck, Heart of the City.
One Ateed document called The Global Auckland Story and marked commercially sensitive says Los Angeles is The City of Angels, Paris The City of Love and New York The City that Never Sleeps.
“It is up to Auckland to define, deliver and promote who we are and who we want to be,” said the document.
In a letter to Ateed in April this year, Penny Hulse, the then-deputy mayor and chair of the CCO governance and monitoring committee, emphasised Global Auckland should include reference to “Maori identity as Auckland’s point of difference in the world”.
Ateed accounts show $517,000 had been spent on Global Auckland to the end of June this year.
It’s not come to an end yet.
That’s got to be the most blatant example of troughing we’ve seen for some time. $100,000 per word.
– Bernard Orsman, NZ Herald