A Kerikeri community group is applying for consent to build a 15m-high climate change-themed sculpture at the intersection of Kerikeri Rd and State Highway 10.
The sculpture, called Te Haa o te Ao (The Breath of the World), was originally championed by local hapu Ngāti Rēhia.
Last year, however, Our Kerikeri Community Charitable Trust took on the project and was awarded a $550,000 grant by the Provincial Growth Fund to build it.
The location also changed from Bulls Gorge, as originally mooted in 2014, to the north side of Kerikeri roundabout on what is currently a grassed area bordering McGregor's Bakery.
A resource consent is needed because the sculpture is higher than the 12m limit for structures permitted in the rural production zone.
The land is administered by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and its only use at present is for a neglected Welcome to Kerikeri sign.
According to the application documents the aim of the sculpture is to ''raise awareness in locals and visitors about the greatest threat facing humanity today''.
It was designed for Ngāti Rēhia by Kerikeri sculptor Chris Booth whose works are displayed worldwide. Closer to home his sculptures can be seen at Kerikeri Domain, Matauri Bay and Auckland's Albert Park.
Te Haa o Te Ao will consist of a 15m central pou (post) from which about 120 locally sourced boulders, representing poi, will be suspended 3m above the ground.
The degree of tension in the adjustable cables will symbolise local efforts, or lack thereof, to combat climate change.
Those efforts will be monitored by children from local schools who will direct adjustment of the sculpture.
The pou will be topped by a carving by Tuauahiroa Hei Hei in the form of three birds' heads, a kahu (hawk), a tūī and a kāwau (shag).
As part of the project the rest of the intersection will be planted and landscaped, and a new welcome sign by carver Renata Tane will be installed.
At present the centre of the roundabout is used only by hoons as a skid pad while the western side is a forest of advertising billboards.
Funding for the sculpture was announced by then Regional Development Minister Shane Jones in July 2020 during the leadup to the general election.
It was one of several community-driven projects in Kerikeri, totalling $8 million, granted cash from the PGF/Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
The other grants were $3m for Kerikeri Domain rejuvenation, $2.45m for a Rangitane boat ramp and jetty development, and $2m to help develop new sports facilities at Waipapa.
Despite being the smallest project to win funding, the sculpture attracted the most controversy at the time — as predicted by Green MP turned Far North District councillor David Clendon, who was the MC during the announcement at the Turner Centre.
''Like all good public art it will be controversial, and that's good because it will get people talking,'' he said.
NZTA has already given approval for the project. No other parties are deemed to be affected under the terms of the Resource Management Act.
The consent application was lodged on March 16. Its current status is "pending".