© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Totem'esque sculpture to tower at inner city park

Digby Werthmuller
Artist impression of the VAKA 'A HINA sculpture at Rauora Park.  SCAPE Public Art

A 16-metre tall sculpture will be placed in Rauora Park, the public space at the heart of the East Frame.

Christchurch City Council gave final approval at Thursday's public meeting for SCAPE Public Art to install the $275,000 VAKA 'A HINA sculpture.

In a media release, SCAPE described the VAKA 'A HINA as a beacon or way finder for locals to connect and celebrate Tongan and New Zealand cultures "with striking harmony, beauty, and symmetry".

Sculpter Sēmisi Fetokai Potauaine said: "With the recent tragedy in the city, I do hope the presence of VAKA`A HINA as a way finder offers relief to those who have been stricken and provides connection to those who have been separated.”

SCAPE executive director Deborah McCormick said VAKA 'A HINA would be a "magnificent addition to the city".

She said the sculpture, which was fully funded by John Jones Steel, was SCAPE's 15th public art project in 20 years of installing work in the city.

Details for an official unveiling later in the year, are yet to be released.