Wednesday, May 29, 2024
4.5 C


My Account

- Advertisement -

Beyer statue to be considered by Carterton council

A memorial sculpture of the late Georgina Beyer will be discussed by Carterton councillors next week.

Beyer, who died last year, was elected mayor of Carterton in 1995, making her the world’s first openly transgender mayor.

She later became the world’s first transgender Member of Parliament and was celebrated for her courage, sharp humour, and fierce advocacy of the communities she represented.

On Wednesday, Carterton’s elected members will consider progressing a project to create and install a sculpture of Beyer as a public art piece in town.

The community-led project was suggested by Wairarapa sculptor Paul Quested and has been endorsed by the executors of Beyer’s estate.

The project also has the support of Carterton’s People and Places Advisory Group.

The memorial sculpture would be a life-sized bronze statue of Beyer wearing a Korowai [woven Māori cloak] with “red turquoise flecks of white and yellow”, according to a report to the council.

The cloak would have detailed feathers at the top and “semi-abstract textures and elements of bright colours that are not overstated”.

Ground lighting elements would “bring interest, colour, and shadow to the memorial”.

The project would likely take 12-18 months to complete, which would allow time for fundraising and the creation of the sculpture.

The estimated price to complete the sculpture is between $300k-$500k and would be externally funded.

“This is in line with the cost of similar sculptures around Aotearoa,” the report said.

“A full project plan, including a detailed finalised budget will be established if the project is approved by council.”

Council staff would work with the sculptor and Funding HQ to source external funding for the project.

Funding HQ works directly with councils to help them build their own fundraising capability and secure funds for projects.

There has been no decision yet on where the sculpture should be situated, but it is the wish of the executors of Beyer’s will that the sculpture “be prominent and in a place where people can access and appreciate the memorial”.

Council staff have suggested that public engagement be used to assess the best location should the project go ahead.


Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air


  1. Is Georgina Beyer being lauded for being a politician, or for being the first transsexual politician? If the former, then are there, historically, other local politicians/Mayor’s of Carterton who have achieved greater recognition for notable and valuable service? If Georgina Beyer is being lauded for being a public transsexual; then Carterton is insufficient to accommodate that many statues to valorize that many colourful candidates. There is a suggestion that this expensive enterprise has less to do with Georgina Beyer and more to do with signaling Carterton as a wildly progressive township; an impression that will evaporate with any casual stroll along the depleted High Street.

Comments are closed.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
overcast clouds
4.5 ° C
4.5 °
4.5 °
97 %
100 %
7 °
10 °
13 °
16 °
18 °