Ethics â not politics â appear to be behind a prominent art patron’s decision to reallocate her financial support for New Zealand’s representative at the Venice Biennale.
Dame Jenny Gibbs confirmed today she “did not approve” ofÂ Dirty PoliticsÂ author Nicky Hager’s attendance as a specialist adviser to the New Zealand exhibition at the international art event. However, she said speculation she had withdrawn funding from the general patronage pool because of her politics â she is major donor to the Act Party â were incorrect.
Creative New Zealand confirmed in August that Hager would travel to Venice as an adviser to artist Simon Denny whose biennale projectÂ Secret PowerÂ takes its title from a 2006 book by Hager on the role and international standing of New Zealand’s intelligence work.
“I just want to set the record straight,” Dame Jenny said. “I am, in fact, still supporting the biennale. I’m paying for an assistant curator, rather than my money going into the general pool.
“It is true I don’t approve of Nicky Hager going, but that’s because I don’t approve of people living off stolen emails.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with politics. I would have the same feeling if they were taking Cameron Slater, or, for that matter, if it was the year Nicky did the ‘Corngate’ book. I just don’t support people living off stolen emails and I don’t care who that is.”
I wouldn’t be at all surprised, if she also doesn’t approve of independently wealthy writers, who made hundreds of thousands of dollars from stolen e-mails, choosing to take thousands of dollars from a charity such as Givealittle to help pay for their lawyer.