Lincoln Tan

Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Council rejects McCaw sculpture offer

The Auckland Council has said 'no thanks' to a McCaw sculpture on the waterfront. Photo / NZ Herald
The Auckland Council has said 'no thanks' to a McCaw sculpture on the waterfront. Photo / NZ Herald

Auckland Council has rejected a Chinese sculptor's offer to build a 14m metal All Black figure in the image of Richie McCaw for the Auckland waterfront.

Yi Yang, who has been sculpting larger-than-life replicas of Transformer robots professionally in China and Singapore using scrap metal from old cars, had submitted a proposal to the council's public art panel for consideration last week.

The plan was to make the four-storey statue in China and ship it in parts to Auckland to be assembled.

Yang wanted to donate the sculpture as a tribute to last year's Rugby World Cup win, and had planned to call it Statue of Victory.

In a letter to Yang, council public art manager Carole Anne Meehan said: "The panel does not recommend the acceptance of your proposed gift as our existing public art plan calls for a landmark work of a very different nature to the one you have proposed."

Ms Meehan said the panel had considered how the offer fitted with Auckland Plan objectives for the city centre and waterfront.

She said the city's public art development needed to have a "strategic, integrated and coherent" approach.

Yang said he was very disappointed with the decision, and intended to appeal against it through the council's ethnic advisory panel.

"At the moment, there is no public structure to mark the All Blacks' World Cup victory and this statue aims to be that."

Yang's other sculpting works are being displayed in China's Shenyang Centre business district and Singapore's Universal Studio Transformer theme ride.

"I think the public art team has got it wrong because I believe the statue will be a huge tourist attraction, and will be a new landmark for the city."

- NZ Herald

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