ICC refurb riles craftsman

    Ivan Bulling director Ross Bulling photographed at his workshop in Otatara is upset the Invercargill City Council is selling tables he and his father crafted for the council chambers.

    AN Invercargill furniture maker cannot understand why the Invercargill City Council (ICC) is getting rid of the council tables he and his late father built for the council chambers in 2003.

    Ross Bulling phoned the Southland Express last week after seeing an advertisement marketing the council chambers’ tables for sale.

    ICC mooted changes to the layout of the chambers early last year.

    At an Infrastructural Services Committee meeting in June, the issue was raised again.

    At the time, Cr Rebecca Amundsen said it was a priority to improve on council’s live-streaming capabilities.

    It was noted the furniture was a health hazard to staff moving it and the upgrade would increase multi-functionality within the council chambers.

    However, this week Mr Bulling said the tables were specifically built to be pulled apart with extra tables also made to allow to extend them.

    If people were finding it hard to move them, they could be adapted to put castors on the bottom as well as be adapted for technology, he said.

    “I am sure we could have worked with the council to achieve a workable solution using the existing tables. But instead I am appalled by what they have been replaced with. Does the council not wish to support local manufacturing? Where were the new tables manufactured?”

    The tables he and his father had crafted were a significant piece of work designed to be functional and he was disappointed to see elected representatives prepared “to support this nonsense” by voting to have them removed.

    I have seen of the new tables in place is nothing more than a shambles, the layout of which is not dissimilar to that created by the discarded tables.

    He said the open aspect of the top table, where people sat on a raised platform, were not appropriate.

    An ICC spokesman said the tables were extremely heavy and adaption was not an option.

    An ICC governance manager contacted Ivan Bulling Ltd to find out about the history of the furniture and staff provided council with the detail that was within the advertisement.

    “They were appreciative of the phone call,” the spokesman said.

    The new tables had provided a safer option for staff to move the tables safely.

    “It has also provided the option to make the room more multi-purpose for events and council business.”

    Once council had received registrations of interest about the tables, it would work with interested parties regarding the price.

    Mr Bulling said he had not been contacted by anyone from council but said they may have phoned the shop.