Pukeko flies off to new home

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHITTAKER

A colos­sal pukeko that’s be­come some­thing of a land­mark on a busy street is set­tling into a new home.

Ce­ramic artist Kevin Kilsby is shift­ing premises which means the 2.5 me­tre pukeko sculp­ture that has been perched on the roof of his shop at the cor­ner of Richardson Rd and We­ston Rd, Mt Al­bert, for the last 12 years has had to move.

It’s been given to West Auck­land’s Col­will School.

‘‘It’s a bit of a lo­cal land­mark. Peo­ple give di­rec­tions based on it,’’ Mr Kilsby says.

‘‘We’ll be sad to see it go, but it just wouldn’t look right stand­ing in my front gar­den.

‘‘At least en­joyed.’’

The artist is well known for his hand-painted pukeko and is mov­ing his shop to his nearby pot­tery stu­dio.

The orig­i­nal idea for the sculp­ture came from an em­ployee who had been a prop maker for the Lord Of The Rings movies.

‘‘It was one of those things you say ‘ yes’ to be­fore you’ve thought about it.’’

For just a few min­utes the pukeko got to take flight when it was winched from the roof last week.

A small crowd of passersby gath­ered to watch it leave.

Col­will School has re­cently re­branded and made the pukeko its sym­bol.

‘‘They seemed the ob­vi­ous

it can

still be way to go,’’ prin­ci­pal Robert Tay­lor says.

‘‘When the Gen­e­sis En­ergy ad­vert came on tele­vi­sion the kids started talk­ing about pukekos be­ing smart and we thought ‘OK, we can use this to get the kids thinking about how to be­have’.’’

The pukeko will be given a fresh coat of paint and a tidy up be­fore he is un­veiled in his spot over­look­ing the school play­ground.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Good­bye: Kevin Kilsby farewells the giant pukeko sculp­ture that has been perched on the roof of his ce­ram­ics store for more than a decade.

Photo: EMMA WHITTAKER

Take off: The pukeko sculp­ture is lifted from the roof on to the truck that will take it to its new home.

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