No plea over dam­age to Wa­ter Whirler

The Dominion Post - - News - Stuff re­porter

A man charged over break­ing a well-loved Len Lye sculp­ture on the Welling­ton water­front is still wait­ing to hear how much repa­ra­tion he might be asked to pay.

Hunter Lau­rie Browne Mac­don­ald, 29, of Te

Aro, ap­peared in Welling­ton District Court yes­ter­day, and his lawyer Car­rie Parkin asked for a re­mand with­out plea.

Parkin said there was still some dis­pute about how much the repa­ra­tion amount should be.

The Wa­ter Whirler sculp­ture was worth $300,000, and ear­lier this week the direc­tor of the Len Lye Foun­da­tion said it would cost be­tween $35,000 and $50,000 to re­pair.

Judge Peter Hobbs re­manded Mac­don­ald on bail un­til the end of the month with­out en­ter­ing a plea.

Len Lye Foun­da­tion direc­tor Evan Webb said it wanted to pro­duce three new wands, be­cause the cost of man­u­fac­tur­ing them in­di­vid­u­ally was so high.

The sculp­ture is likely to be fixed next year. Mac­don­ald has said pub­licly that he was ‘‘bored out of my mind’’ while walk­ing along Welling­ton’s water­front, when he came across the Wa­ter Whirler sculp­ture – which cost about $300,000 at the time of in­stal­la­tion in 2006.

‘‘I de­cided to stop and sort of at­tempt some sort of gym­nas­tic, ac­ro­batic stuff on the sculp­ture.’’

His­to­rian Roger Hor­rocks, who was Lye’s per­sonal as­sis­tant in the fi­nal year of his life, said the artist would have been ‘‘deeply hurt by the sheer id­iocy’’ of the per­son who saw the sculp­ture as just a climb­ing frame and not a work of art.


Hunter Mac­don­ald was in­jured when he swung on the Wa­ter Whirler sculp­ture, bend­ing it un­til it broke. Hunter Mac­don­ald ap­pears in court yes­ter­day over dam­age to the Len Lye sculp­ture on Welling­ton’s water­front.

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