All these years after being beaten by Nikki Kaye, Judith Tizard continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.Â In more ways than one.
It turns out it was Tizard that set up the dodgy â€śAuckland Regional Amenities Funding Boardâ€ť that has been cutting and holding back funding from essential rescue services like Surf Lifesaving, the Coastguard and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to funnel into the opera, the theatre and the orchestra.
What happened was this: Helen Clark wanted a way of funnelling money to the arts without politicians getting a say so got Judith to set up the board.Â But Nationalâ€™s Wayne Mapp said National would only support the legislation â€“ the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act 2008 â€“ if essential rescue services were also included.
The board members are mostly all Labour Party thespian luvvies and weâ€™ll have more to say about them soon enough.
They have never wanted surf lifesavers, coastguard volunteers or rescue helicopter pilots and medics to get funding they think should go to flautists, sopranos and people who play pretend on the stage for a living.
Parliament initially said what each of the services should get â€“ it was $1,500,000 each for the biggies, the orchestra and the rescue helicopter.
Since then, the board has cut money from the helicopter trust for its essential rescue service to give to the orchestra for new harps and pianos.
Hereâ€™s the funding graphs: