A reader writes about the NZSO

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A reader emails regarding the NZSO:

Dear Whaleoil

re the NZSO – talks of scrapping.  Personally, I go and see this world class orchestra whenever they come to the nearest town I live in.  I am not an elitist rich person – simply someone who enjoys great music.   With their support of music in schools programme, concerts in remote parts of NZ  and scholarships to help budding musicians – the NZSO does a damn site more for the average Joe Bloggs than any sports team does.

How come its OK for John Key and his elitist Auckland friends to give away 34 million dollars  from the tax coffers so a team of so called ‘ elite athletes’ can go on a glorified holiday to San Francisco to take part in a yacht race they have no hope in hell of winning – yet you think giving 13 mill to preserve the heritage of fine music in this country is wrong.

I challenge you to pay the $25 per seat it costs and go and see the NZSO in action – you will be amazed.

These days people pay in the hundreds to go and see the likes of  Justin Beiber[sic] who can’t sing for shyte[sic]. If you take into account how many police are required to quell the crowds of screaming brats – this must be very costly indeed.

The NZSO gives the tax payers value for money indeed.  The are World Class and if we loose[sic] them we loose[sic] a valuable part of our culture.   Dare I say the gov’t is not averse to giving money to Kapa Haka groups and crap rappers?  Why should people who appreciate classical music be penalised.

Just sayin

Well, where do I start? Firstly thank you for writing.

I agree the waste spent on the Americas Cup is a valid criticism…it is time to stop funding the sailors too. Once you start looking at these sorts of waste it really is easy to see how the government could save literally billions. While we are at it we should also cancel the funding of the Royal NZ Ballet.

You mention preserving the “heritage of fine music”…this is not my heritage…nor I suspect the heritage of many in West Auckland who would probably prefer the government fund an all heavy metal radio station than a bunch of mucical bludgers playing music from long dear Germans and Austrians with a few dead Russians chucked in. Their bogan heritage is far more valuable than the music of dead Germans and Austrians with a few dead Russians chucked in.

Regarding the $25 you pay to go see the NZSO. That is but a pittance in actuality. The real cost of your $25 seat is actually $185 plus. The government subsidises your seat by more than $160.

You mention people paying hundreds of dollars to see Justin Bieber…perfectly proving my point that if musicians produce a quality product then the market will reward them accordingly. There is no taxpayer dollars going into subsidising seats for Justin Bieber or indeed any overseas act producing concerts in New Zealand.

If the NZSO was as world class as you claim then let them fund themselves and charge hundreds of dollars for seats at their concerts instead of their musicians being in receipt of what is essentially the musicians dole.

Finally Kapa Haka can go jump too, along with the NZSO, the Ballet, The Americas Cup and any other rubbish unnecessary spending.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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