Leading up to Waitangi Day, New Zealanders can watch carvers busily working away at a billboard symbolising Maori and Pakeha coming together.
As part of a Maori Television project, Maori artist Blaine Te Rito and British woodcarver Mike Davies are collaborating on the carved artwork in Newmarket, near the television studios, in the three weeks leading up to New Zealand's national day.
The 6m-long waka, on a 4m-high billboard on the corner of Broadway and Parnell Rd, depicts a Maori figure and a top hat-wearing British figure to represent biculturalism.
A camera crew is filming the project for a reality show-style piece to screen during Maori Television's Waitangi Day broadcast. A webcam of the carvers can also be seen at www.maoritelevision. com/waitangi.
New Zealanders are also being encouraged to upload written and video messages for the broadcast, recording their thoughts on Waitangi and what it means to be a citizen of this country.
Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather said the aim of the carving project was to inspire celebration and build nationhood. "The carving will celebrate the spirit of partnership using simplistic symbols to identify the Maori and Pakeha cultures moving forward into the future."
Mr Te Rito, based in Auckland, specialises in the carving of native wood, bone, ivory and pounamu.
He creates commissioned artwork as well as pieces for local and international exhibitions.
Mr Davies, who moved to New Zealand 10 years ago, trained in England specialising in the restoration of carved antiques and has also carved pieces for the British National Trust, members of the royal family and other private collectors.
He is a columnist for international trade magazines, has published books on wood carving and is currently working on a series for publication and television featuring carving cultures from around the world.
After Waitangi Day, Maori Television plans to give the carving to the Waitangi National Trust at the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference which is being held in Auckland in March.
* Maori Television's broadcast - Kotahi Te Ra: Waitangi 2008 - will run from 9am until 9pm on February 6.