Second sex offender sculpture to be removed

Last updated 15:27 28/06/2012
Brendan Nolan
Fairfax NZ
GOING: Tui sculpture by convicted child sex offender Brendan Nolan in Paraparaumu Beach.

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A large sculpture of a tui at the entrance to Paraparaumu Beach crafted by a local artist who has been jailed for sexually violating two girls will be removed, Kapiti Coast District Council has decided.

Brendan Nolan, 55, was sentenced on Monday to five years, three months behind bars after admitting offences dating from 1999 to 2001.

Yesterday Paekakariki School took down elaborate school entrance gates made by Nolan, saying it was inappropriate for the gates to "welcome" children and their families to the school.

The council voted 7-3 this morning to remove a $20,000, 4-5 metre high metal tui from the entrance to Paraparaumu Beach on the corner of Kapiti Rd and Maclean St and store it till a permanent decision was made about its future.

The cost of installing the sculpture, including a plinth and reinforcing, brought the cost of the sculpture to about $40,000.

A $3,500 portrait by Nolan hanging in Paraparaumu Library would probably also be taken down and stored.

Mayor Jenny Rowan strongly supported removing the tui saying sexual abuse of children was totally abhorrent, "the bottom of a very murky heap".

Councillors Mike Cardiff, Diane Ammundsen and Penny Gaylor voted against removing the sculpture.

"I am not one for ripping it out. If a gentleman had been drinking and killed three people, would we still be having this discussion? I do not think it should be taken down,"  Mr Cardiff said.

Mrs Diane Ammundsen said she did not want the tui removed, saying the victims' families and the community should be consulted first, while Ms Gaylor said it was too early to remove it and the police should be consulted.

Councillor Tony Lester suggested the tui be taken down this afternoon but the recommendation approved by the council was to take it down as soon as practical. Councillor Ross Church said he was very sad about the tui.

"In deciding what to do, try not let a tui get dragged into it. I love the tui. It is my favourite bird," Mr Church said.

Paraparaumu-Raumati community board chairwoman Louella Jensen warned the sculpture could be vandalised if it was not removed.

"It is a very emotional time. Take it down now before doing anything is regretted later on," Mrs Jensen said.

Contact Kay Blundell
Kapiti reporter

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- The Dominion Post

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