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Giant tui sculpture installed at upgraded city intersection

Giant tui sculpture installed at upgraded city intersection

A one tonne sculpture of a native tui was lowered into position on the corner of Rotorua’s Tutanekai and Eruera streets today [25 June] by Rotorua District Council (RDC).

The 3.2 metre piece provides the finishing touch to a makeover of the busy intersection, part of the council’s partnership with community stakeholders to revitalise the inner city.

The council says the tui sculture will form another link in a proposed sculpture trail for Rotorua, and follows earlier installation of carved sculptures on two corners of Tutanekai and Pukuatua streets.

Named ‘Te Tui Nui,’ the latest artwork, has been carved from black poplar wood and is on loan to the city from talented Rotorua artist Trevor Nathan.

It is located on the intersection’s south east corner outside the offices of State Insurance.

State Insurance’s Carol Ralph said it was an exciting talking point and would breathe new life into a corner which was a popular meeting place for people.

“I met the artist this morning while they were installing the sculpture and he said the tui was part of what New Zealand is; and I like that because it’s inclusive to all - locals and tourists alike.”

The Tutanekai/Eruera intersection upgrade has involved construction of new wider median pedestrian refuges to provide safer crossings and to improve Tutanekai Street’s pedestrian connection. Curbing flattened to make crossing easier for mobility scooters and seating has been raised to improve accessibility for the elderly.

New streetscape plantings, an irrigation system, cycle stand and wooden decking have also been installed as part of the project.

RDC Inner City Revitalisation portfolio lead, Councillor Karen Hunt, said everyone had been working well together and stepping up to make things happen.

“People are noticing the transformation that’s taking place. The ball is really rolling with our revitalisation programme.”

Work has also started on the next intersection upgrade, at the end of Tutanekai Street, opposite the entrance to Rotorua Central Mall.

More information on the works of sculptor Trevor Nathan is available online at trevornathansculpture.co.nz


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