The iconic New Brighton whale will be cloned in order to fit in with the new seaside playground.
The existing whale will remain in place for the summer, but the clone will be placed on the playground’s new splash pad, meaning there will be two whales for a short time.
Following engineering inspections, Development Christchurch Ltd revealed the whale is too fragile to be moved to its new playground home.
DCL chief executive Rob Hall said during a recent investigation it became clear moving the whale would not be a simple exercise.
“We’ve had the engineers look at numerous solutions as we know how important it is to the community,” he said.
“However, due to the age and fragility of the whale, it is highly unlikely that it can be moved to its new splash pad home successfully, so we had to find a new solution. New Brighton without a whale was never a solution so a new replica whale is being made,” said Mr Hall.
A fibreglass mould is being taken of the existing whale and this will then be strengthened and reinforced in the factory.
A new replica will be constructed and installed in the splash pad in December.
Arrangements will be made next year for the original whale’s departure, and DCL will discuss this with the community closer to the time. Mr Hall says the importance of the whale has always been at the forefront of the playground design.
“The whale has long been a family favourite in the area so right from the start of this project it has been an integral feature. In fact, we have basically built the playground around it.”