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Picton carver Pita Lagan prepares to begin carving a tree at the Friendly Bay Playground in Oamaru, ahead of the Oamaru Stone Carving Symposium, which starts today.
A total of 22 tonnes of Oamaru stone was unloaded at Friendly Bay yesterday. Mr Lagan will be one of 15 South Island carvers taking part in the two-week event.
He said in between ''having a whack at the stone'' he would also sculpt a tree stump at the playground, which would feature native New Zealand birds and animals.
This year will be the ninth time the event has been held since it started in 1998.