Eagle to soar once paperwork is done

North Otago artist Matt King's life-size 3m found-metal sculpture of a Haast's eagle is complete and now waiting on an engineer's report before it is positioned above his found-metal moa at the brewery hole in Duntroon. Photo: Hamish MacLean
North Otago artist Matt King's life-size 3m found-metal sculpture of a Haast's eagle is complete and now waiting on an engineer's report before it is positioned above his found-metal moa at the brewery hole in Duntroon. Photo: Hamish MacLean
Matt King's found-metal Haast's eagle sculpture is almost ready to take flight.

For now, ''paperwork'' is keeping the Herbert artist's sculpture grounded.

Nicol's Blacksmith Historic Trust trustee Mike Gray said the trust, which commissioned the 3m eagle to complement Mr King's nearby found-metal moa sculpture installed several years ago, now had the eagle in Duntroon.

However, an engineer's report would be required to ''complete the task'' of installing it.

Designed to appear as a giant extinct South Island eagle swooping down on its prehistoric prey, the weighty eagle needed to be affixed to the top of a 3m steel pole - and placing that pole had proved challenging at the Duntroon brewery hole site.

''It's the second-last thing,'' Mr Gray said.

''The last thing is to erect it, but I think we can manage that - it's the paperwork that's the problem.

''Our challenge is that we need to get an engineer's report on its safety, the method of erection, and its placement.''

The enclosed area where the sculpture is slated to be installed ''is steep, it's rocky, it doesn't have a lot of stable land''.

The concrete foundation of the now vacant building, built by the Waitaki District Council to pump water from the brewery hole to supply water to the town, offered a solution, he said.

But the brewery hole was a sinkhole that exposed the underground stream that ran through Duntroon.

''It shows its head up just there, but there are other places where that underground stream appears - and finally it ends up in the wetlands, that water.'' Plans had changed to now having the post installed through the roof of that building with the eagle up above the building.

It would still create the effect of the eagle swooping down on the moa below it.

Earlier, Mr Gray said the trust had commissioned the work because ''we want Duntroon to be different''.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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