Chris Parkin

Two weeks in the job and he already has his hand out

Just typical.

Te Papa’s new chairman has thrown his weight behind building a $100 million art gallery to house the museum’s formidable – but rarely seen – collection.

Sir Wira Gardiner, appointed to the top job a fortnight ago, says a standalone gallery is high on his personal agenda as the museum does not do the collection justice.

Te Papa has been criticised by the art community, politicians and the public since it opened in 1998 for not displaying more of the 15,000 artworks in its collection.

Sir Wira said yesterday that he supported Te Papa board member Chris Parkin, who told The Dominion Post he “would really like to leave Wellington with a new national art gallery”.

Don’t you just love it. Monument building wankers talking about how they’d really like to leave behind giant expensive edifices, ones paid for by the taxpayer as well.

If the art community, politicians and the liberal elite art gallery attending public think there should be a national art gallery worth $100 million in Wellington then I suggest they start a fund and go build it themselves. People should be very wary of wannabe politicians and civil servants who intone that they have a “personal agenda”.

I doubt that Chris Finlayson expected Wira Gardiner to throw out his hand for taxpayer largesse just two weeks into his cushy job at Te papa. But then again he and Hekia wouldn’t dip into their pockets for the by-election so not much has changed.