The Cuba St Bucket Fountain will remain missing a bucket for at least another month, as engineers work to craft a replacement by hand.
The yellow bucket disappeared from the fountain in October, with Wellington City Council confirming it had been missing for a number of weeks before the news hit headlines.
The bucket had been gone long enough that engineering firm Metalworx was already on the case, sculpting a new bucket by hand. But general manager Kyle McLennan told the Herald on Thursday, it's still a few weeks away.
"We're at the dead end of the year with a really heavy workload for a lot of people, so having to factor in an emergency bucket adds to that."
McLennan says Metalworx are "the custodians of the Bucket Fountain" and are often working hard to repair the famed Cuba St installation.
When the same bucket disappeared in 2016, McLennan says Metalworx were all geared up to make a replacement – but the bucket reappeared with a new psychedelic paint job.
"When I heard it went missing [the most recent time] I just thought 'oh it'll be back' because they always are'".
But there's still no sign of the original, meaning Metalworx engineers are hard at work.
"The fibreglass has to be hand laid layer by layer and moulded, then it needs an axle to pivot on, it needs to be weighted."
The finished product will weigh in at around 15kg, and McLennan says he doubts it will be the last of the company's involvement with the fountain.
"Being a kinetic sculpture, it likes to damage itself."
As a result, Metalworx frequently carries out repairs and refurbishments on the fountain.
He says the company has even had the entire fountain in its workshop when the council decided they wanted to switch its orientation.
"We had it in here dumping water all over the floor when the council decided they wanted it to dump water on the other side of Cuba St."
A Wellington City Council spokesperson told the Herald a new bucket is still about four weeks away – and there are still no leads on who took the bucket in the first place.
Police said in October a new bucket will likely cost around $2000, and urged anyone with information on the theft to call 105 and report it.