Gorge round­about sculp­ture de­layed un­til Fe­bru­ary

Rotorua Daily Post - - Front Page - Zizi Sparks

The in­stal­la­tion of the Hemo Gorge round­about sculp­ture is fac­ing fur­ther de­lays and is now ex­pected to be in­stalled in Fe­bru­ary, 19 months after its ini­tial com­ple­tion date.

The 12m sculp­ture is the fi­nal piece of the puz­zle in com­plet­ing the Hemo Gorge round­about.

The $500,000 sculp­ture was de­signed by Stacy Gor­dine, head of the Na­tional Stone and Bone Carv­ing School at Te Puia, and is be­ing 3D printed by Kil­well Fi­bre­tube.

When first an­nounced, the sculp­ture was in­tended to be in­stalled by July 2017.

The first de­lay came after it was dis­cov­ered only a lim­ited num­ber of com­pa­nies in the world were ca­pa­ble of con­struct­ing the com­plex de­sign.

The new in­stal­la­tion date was set for June this year but that was pushed back after changes had to be made to the lam­i­nate be­ing used.

The sculp­ture in­stal­la­tion is now ex­pected to be fin­ished around Fe­bru­ary.

Kil­well chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Wil­son said “test­ing” was the rea­son for the de­lay.

“The print­ing and fab­ri­ca­tion of the sculp­ture el­e­ments is go­ing well, how­ever the test­ing of each of the el­e­ments is tak­ing longer than ex­pected.

“The scale of this pro­ject is an en­tirely new con­cept glob­ally so it is dif­fi­cult to pin­point how long cer­tain parts of the process will take. The team in­volved also have to fac­tor in fi­nal as­sem­bly, paint­ing and trans­porta­tion to the site.”

The de­lay is not re­lated to a crash in­volv­ing a log­ging truck ear­lier in the year.

At the coun­cil op­er­a­tions and mon­i­tor­ing com­mit­tee meet­ing last week We­ston said costs for the sculp­ture were “in check” and the pro­ject was pro­gress­ing well.

“But lo­gis­tics are prov­ing slightly more dif­fi­cult in terms of tim­ing, so for safety we’re re­ally say­ing prob­a­bly Fe­bru­ary.”

The sculp­ture is be­ing printed by 10 print­ers at Kil­well’s Ro­torua fac­tory and will take al­most 16,500 hours to cre­ate. It tells the story of two su­per­nat­u­ral deities, Te Pupu (heat) and Te Hoata (fire), and their search for Nga¯toroirangi, the great chief and priest of the Te Arawa waka.

Image / Ro­torua Lakes Coun­cil

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the sculp­ture at the new Hemo Gorge round­about.

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