Plans to shift the Opo statue and a new sculpture to replace it are being made as residents in Opononi try to stop the original from being vandalised.

A group from the small Northland town want to get a new sculpture put up at the spot and to move the original to try to protect it.

The statue, by sculptor Russell Clark, was erected about 50 years ago as a tribute to Opo, the dolphin who made headlines in the summer of 1955 when he entertained beachgoers and played with children at Opononi Beach, Hokianga.