Godwits sculpture to fly high

FLYING HIGH: An artist's impression of a Godwit sculpture, which will be installed in South New Brighton.

An $89,100 sculpture of the bar-tailed godwits is finally set to be installed at South New Brighton.

Because the birds spend summer in Southshore, the artwork will be on show near the South New Brighton bridge. The project was first raised by the South Brighton Residents’ Association about three years ago.

The sculpture, called The Godwits, will feature seven painted, stainless steel birds on top of tall poles, which will allow them to rotate in the wind.

The design was approved by the city council’s social, community development and housing committee last week. The project still needsfinal approvalfrom the city council.

 A city council spokesperson said, “the Godwits artwork will be installed following the report to the city council on July 25.”

The artwork has been offered as a gift to Christchurch by the residents’ association, which commissioned local artist Bon Suter to design it.

Said residents’ association secretary Seamus O’Cromtha: “It’s been a long, long, long process. We’re very pleased, obviously. It’s good for general community well-being.”

It was proposedas a way toidentify South New Brighton as an area of natural beauty and a place where the godwits arrive and leave from each year.

The committee supported a recommendation infavourof the sculpture’s permanent installation and ongoing maintenance.

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.

While the sculpture will cost $89,100, $76,000 was raised by the 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 godwits (kuaka) usually arrive in mid-September after flying thousands ofkilometresfrom their breeding grounds in Alaska. The wading birds spend the summer in Southshore before leaving in March.