A event on Thursday will celebrate the signing-off of all the funding and the building contract for the camera obscura project on Whangārei's art and leisure focused Hatea River bank.
The photographic image-producing sculpture will be the world's largest - and only - walk-in, pin-hole style camera using CCTV to help frame the view.
In April the project secured more than $450,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund to get it across the line. Delighted as the small group behind the camera obscura was with that major top-up, project instigator Diane Stoppard said the highlight was that community fundraising had raised an equivalent amount, albeit over a few years.
Stoppard, a photographer, first had the idea for the camera obscura in 2011, with architect Felicity Christian and sculptor Trish Clarke coming on board in 2015.
In 2016 a crowdfunding campaign was launched, then earlier this year the project's potential to entertain and educate locals and visitors and its fit with the ever-developing arts precinct along the Hatea Loop saw the deal sealed.
''It's phenomenal,'' Stoppard said of the PGF help.
''We're a small project in their (PGF) eyes but this will be a wonderful local asset.
''Thursday's event is not just to celebrate signing off the PGF funding and the building contract, but to celebrate the huge community effort that also got us there.''
The total cost of the project is $991,000. Local company Harnett Builders won the contract and is expected to begin construction work in October.
Whangārei District Council will manage and maintain the 8m wide by 8m tall disability friendly sculpture sited on the Pohe Island side of the Hatea River.
A camera obscura optical device consists of a room or box with a hole in one side. Light from outside passes through the hole and strikes the walls inside, where the external scene is reproduced upside down. The sculpture built on the Hatea Loop will reflect Te Matau ā Pohe bridge.
The invitation only Camera Obscura Celebration being held by Creative Northland is to bring people together who have been involved with the project and welcome in its next stage, Stoppard said.