Te Puke's long-awaited giant kiwifruit slices have been installed.
The two kiwifruit slices, a nod to Te Puke's status as kiwifruit capital of the world, were lowered into place outside the town's former railway station today and have created a striking impression at the western entrance to the town.
Te Puke Economic Development Group is behind the initiative and managing director Mark Boyle said installation work would continue this week, with an official ceremony to take place in ''two or three week's time''.
Resource consent for the slices was granted in September last year and they were built off-site. Ground preparation work has been ongoing for several weeks, and the plinths for slices constructed last week.
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At the time of announcing the grant of consent, Boyle said there had been a lot of support for the project, which had taken at least 18 months of planning.
"It's something that reminds people of Te Puke as kiwifruit capital of the world. It's also an acknowledgement that kiwifruit really is the backbone of our local economy,'' he said at the time.
"The industry had a low in 2010 with PSA but it has bounced back and is thriving."
The slices were a celebration of that, he said.
Also in September, Henry Phillips, the leaseholder of land on which the slices stand, said he hoped they would help attract more visitors to the town and be identified "with the likes of Paeroa and Ohakune" which each had their own iconic monuments.