A flock of giant owls will swoop down into Auckland in a brightly-coloured charity fundraising event.

The Child Cancer Foundation has settled on the Big Hoot, modelled on a similar event in the UK, to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018.

The 1.6m-tall fibreglass owls will be displayed on a trail around central Auckland and surrounding areas from March to May 2018, in a project with Wild in Art, a British events business and supplier of figurines.

Artists will be invited to submit ideas to sponsors who will pick the designs for translation onto blank owls.


Schoolchildren will also take part, with 90cm miniature owls.

After the owls have adorned Auckland, they will be sold at a charity auction.

"Owls are icons of storytelling, well known to represent wisdom, migration, diversity, learning and intelligence," said the foundation's chief executive, Robyn Kiddle.

"As with owls, every child and family who has walked the child cancer journey has their own unique story to tell.

"Each owl sculpture will share a unique and meaningful story.

"Every week, more than three children in New Zealand are diagnosed with cancer. At any given time, Child Cancer Foundation is assisting over 500 families nationwide, offering personalised, one-on-one support in hospital, at home and in the community."

The foundation hopes to raise $300,000.

A Big Hoot was held in Birmingham in the UK last year. The auction raised more than £500,000 ($877,815) for the Birmingham Children's Hospital charity.


• Businesses keen to take part can learn more at www.thebighoot.co.nz