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A ceremony was held to celebrate the installation of the sculpture in South New Brighton.
Residents, political representatives, sponsors and donors, who made the project possible, attended.
The sculpture, called The Godwits, features seven painted, stainless steel birds on top of tall poles, which will allow them to rotate in the wind.
The sculpture cost $89,100, with $76,000 raised by the South Brighton Residents’ Association through community events and donations. The remaining amount came from the Coastal-Burwood Community Board’s discretionary fund, with Fulton Hogan and the city council covering the installation costs.
The artwork was offered as a gift to Christchurch by the residents’ association, which commissioned local artist Bon Suter to design it.
Ms Suter is a professional sculptor and tutor who created the South New Brighton Sculpture Park. She has represented the city council at the Festival of Arts in Adelaide and her work is held in public and private collections around the world.
Said South Brighton Residents’ Association secretary Seamus O’Cromtha: “Commuters driving to and from the area can admire and identify with a marvellous work of art.”
“The sculpture should also act as a magnet for visitors and tourists. With its prominent positioning on the main access road to the Brighton peninsula, it will offer permanent publicity for the wetlands and estuary as a place where visitors can observe a wide range of bird species, enjoy the coastal walkways and take in the magnificent scenery.”
The sculpture will also raise public awareness of the kuaka [godwits] and the importance of the estuary as a feeding ground for both it and many other bird species.”
The sculpture’s inauguration came just after the arrival of bar-tailed godwits at Southshore Spit.
The first of the migratory birds were spotted on September 20 by city council ornithologist Andrew Crossland.
The godwits have returned to their Canterbury feeding spots after spending the Northern Hemisphere summer in breeding grounds 11,000km away in Alaska.
The early arrivals are expected to be joined by more than 1000 others over the next few weeks.