'Passionate' fan needs $150k to bring Metal McCaw to city

The sculpture shows a man in the image of former All Black captain Richie McCaw and cost about ...
The sculpture shows a man in the image of former All Black captain Richie McCaw and cost about $80,000 to make. Photo: supplied
A passionate Canterbury rugby fan is behind a bid to raise $150,000 to bring a Chinese artist's metal sculpture of Richie McCaw to Christchurch.

Matt Vannoort started a petition last week and a Givealittle page on Sunday to get support to bring the larger-than-life metal sculpture of McCaw, called the Undefeated Kiwi, to the city.

It was created by AUT University graduate Yang Yi, and is currently housed in China after the Auckland Council rejected it.

"It is my vision - as a passionate rugby fan - to see this statue at the front gates of the new Multi-Use Arena (Stadium) in Christchurch when it is completed in a few years time," Mr Vannoort said. 

"I see Richie as a NZ and Canterbury hero, and would love to recognise him in this way."

Said Yang: "The original intention of creating this sculpture is not to erect a statue for Richie McCaw. I wish to show the precious spirit of All New Zealanders in this sculpture. Richie happens to be one of the outstanding representatives.

"This sculpture took me two years to complete. The sculpture is about seven meters high and 90 per cent of it is made of scrapped car parts. I believe that the sculpture’s steel material could reflect the iron will of rugby sport. This also reflects my consistent art style of environmental protection philosophy.

"The facial features of this sculpture are borrowed from the legendary New Zealand legendary football captain Richie McCaw. The reason I chose him because the sculpture shows the precious spirit of all New Zealanders through the rugby and Richie is one of the outstanding representatives.

"I hope through this image to capture the deep meaning of the precious spirit of New Zealanders who go forward bravely and never give up through the sport of rugby and show it to the world."

Mr Vannoort estimates to bring the statue to Christchurch it would cost about $80,000 to purchase and $70,000 for shipping and installation.

"I will also be applying to charitable trust funds and philanthropists for financial assistance," Mr Vannoort said. 

"People of Christchurch (and New Zealand) - if you agree with the vision of Mr Yang and would also like to see this statue outside the new Christchurch Stadium then I need your support.

"Please donate generously to this cause and spread the word as far and as wide as you can. We can make this happen," he said.

Mr Vannoort's petition had been signed by more than 400 people on Monday. His Givealittle page can be found here.

He says an engineer has been secured to design the foundations for free.