Herd of Te Awamutu
byon 9th Sep 2009 at 18:26 (2860 Views)
The latest suggestion for a new promotional theme in Te Awamutu is bound to get a reaction.
The idea: Encourage local businesses to purchase a life-sized decorative cow and display it for the public (see attached example images). Over time a "herd" of interesting cattle will be developed, providing a talking point and reason to visit TA.
The idea is borrowed from Cow Parade, which is apparently the largest and most successful public art event in the world.
i-Site manager Lynne Fenwick is quick to point out that this isn't about being called a "cow town". Unfortunately, after being labelled that way in the Courier, that's how a number of people I've spoken to see it.
Personally I'm fence-sitting for now, at least until a few questions have been answered. On the whole I have to say I think it has some appeal. As a business owner I'd be tempted to get a cow. However I'm worried about the ongoing cost, given the history of local vandalism. I'm also not convinced that we need to copy the cow theme. Maybe there are other options. For example, who doesn't love the giant lizard at ReptileZ Pets Supplies? Maybe we could develop a theme of sculptures celebrating native wildlife? It would fit with the Maungatautari project well.
Another question is bound to be "Aren't we the rose town?" I won't go into that now except to say I don't think there needs to be a conflict. Whether or not we continue to claim rosetown status is another story altogether.
Anyway, if a few issues can be worked through I do think there's great potential in this. My questions will be:
- Do the cows need to be imported or can they be made locally?
- Are there any environmental issues with manufacture? Indeed, do cows represent a good environmental image anyway?
- What about vandalism? According to the Cow Parade website, the cows do get damaged and require maintenance.
- Are there any legal issues, given that Cow Parade holds certain IP rights over their cow designs?
- Are there any Health & Safety issues? What exactly is the liability situation if someone gets injured falling off my cow?
- Do the residents of Te Awamutu want this?
I'll try to get answers and post them in the comments.