Little town that the sculptor forgot
Hold on, where’s Rakautara?
It’s not the first, and it probably won’t be the last, time someone has asked that.
But this time, it’s a resident doing the head scratching.
Noeline O’Carroll wants to know why the small settlement of a dozen houses, 22 kilometres north of Kaiko¯ura, has been left off a new sculpture paying tribute to the many towns and townships that were affected by last year’s earthquake.
The KiwiRail-commissioned artwork, made by Kaiko¯ura sculptor Ben Foster using twisted iron from the quake-damage railway line, was unveiled at the Kaiko¯ura Railway Station earlier this month, to coincide with the town welcoming the return of rail freight.
But O’Carroll is not impressed Rakautara is not on there, especially as houses were without electricity and residents had to use wheelbarrows to get supplies in after slips cut the township off.
‘‘So I don’t understand why it was left off,’’ O’Carroll said.
She said she could not believe settlements without a human population were picked ahead of them.
‘‘At Ohau Point, no-one lives there except the seals. We should be between Ha¯puku and Ohau Point.’’
She said she had been in con-
‘‘At Ohau Point, noone lives there except the seals. We should be between Ha¯puku and Ohau Point.’’
tact with both KiwiRail and Foster to try and figure out what happened.
She hoped Rakautara could be added to the sculpture, especially with its rich railway history.
In the 1940s, Rakautara, known as Aniseed Village, was used as a campsite for workers building the Main North Line railway from Wharanui to Kaiko¯ura.
A KiwiRail spokesperson said Foster was commissioned to create a sculpture commemorating the rebuild of the rail line following the Kaiko¯ura earthquake and the challenges faced by the local communities.
‘‘It would be inappropriate for KiwiRail to comment on the artist’s representation, however we note that many local communities were affected by the earthquake, and the sculpture is designed to reflect the experience of everyone in the region.’’
Foster, currently in Singapore, could not be reached for comment.