Progress towards construction of a Camera Obscura in Whangarei has inched closer after the site was blessed and first sod turned.
Father Chris Martin blessed the site on the Pohe Island side of Te Matau a Pohe, along the Hatea Loop earlier this month.
The project's organisers Trish Clarke, Diane Stoppard and Felicity Christian turned the first sod.
Ms Stoppard said the pre-site works are planned for today.That would see a foundation metal pad laid on the site.
She said it has to sit on the site for six months and slowly compress the river silt which makes up the ground.
"This work can commence due to United Civil Construction and Winstone Aggregates donating 100 per cent of these works.
"This generosity is another example of the wonderful community support this project has attracted."
The project team have raised 51 per cent, or $445,000, of the total $860,000 plus GST cost through donations from the public, contractors, local businesses and Whangarei District Council.
Ms Stoppard said the project team had applied to two different funding agencies for the remaining funds.
The team was expecting to hear the results of these applications in April and May.
It is hoped construction will start in late August/early September once the total cost had been raised.
There are still name plaques and bollards which people can get by way of making a significant donation. The plaques are for donations of $200 and the bollards $5000.
To make a donation go to see www.cameraobscura.nz or email firstname.lastname@example.org