A Pukekohe local was shocked to see a wooden carving on Pukekohe Hill missing its fern.

John Henry Longson visited Pukekohe Hill in Auckland weekly and was annoyed to find that the fern, created by master carver Ted Ngataki and his team, was missing.

Longson had previously taken drone footage of the area and shared the before and after images of the missing fern on a local Facebook page.

He assumed that the fern had been stolen and wanted to inform others.

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"I was a little bit angry but just more disappointed," he said.

"There's a lot of culture involved and someone's ruined it for other people."

Longson had previously noticed that the fern looked like it had been loosely screwed on to the rest of the carving and could be easily detached.

"I was expecting it to happen," he said.

Auckland Council owns the carving which was commissioned as part of a regional public art programme.

Auckland Council arts & culture manager Richard McWha said, "We are aware of the damage to the carving.

"It was reported and the artwork was assessed by the artist who is currently undertaking the repair."

"We have a repairs and maintenance programme to respond to such issues with artists to anticipate potential vulnerabilities of artworks and design remedial works to lessen the occurrence in the future", McWha said.