OPINION: Don't tell me ever again there is no money left in the Government's coffers because of COVID-19.
For all those doing it hard in business, for those being denied the latest cancer drugs, for all those going under because of COVID, I bring you the multi-million dollar taxpayer slush fund called the "Arts Continuity Grant".
It's a COVID response fund - that's a good thing - and it has so far paid out $16 million to a whole bunch of short-term arts projects.
On the face of it, exhibitions, performances, all these things are banned. So, ok, offer support where you can.
$18,000 for a poet to write poetry that explores indigeneity and love in the time of climate change.
$50,000 towards an Indigenised Hypno-soundscape to take you to the imagined worlds of our Korero Purakau. Sorry, I don't have the time to explain but sounds hypno.
$47,000 towards live-streamed electronic music performances with live visual animations from a kitchen in Paekakariki.
Another $50,000 to the New Zealand comedy trust to examine what changes need to be made to support a more diverse and sustainable comedy industry in Aotearoa.
And this one I'm a big fan of, $44,000 to record and livestream a performance from Fat Freddy's Drop.
Not so much the wandering eye, but wow, what a loose wandering Government arts fund.
Money in all sorts of dark places. When the Government says no to you next time, keep asking or become an artist.
Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.