Wild weather has not stopped one of New Zealand's biggest outdoor sculpture events from opening on schedule on Waiheke Island.

Some sculptures were damaged during last weekend's high winds but were repaired in time for the opening weekend of headland Sculpture on the Gulf. Held every second year and dubbed a "must see" by the New York Times, the exhibition is expected to attract 55,000 visitors.

They will walk a 2km trail on the Matiatia headland dotted with 34 newly created art works produced by a who's who of the country's artists, including Denis O'Connor, Jeff Thomson, Maureen Lander and the Kaihanga Kara Collective.

Sculpture on the Gulf director of cultural programmes Zara Stanhope says artists have responded to Waiheke and its history with newly made works, including social and participatory projects.


"The calibre and range of sculpture and works on display this year is to be celebrated, with each artwork having a unique relationship with its environment."

Entry is by donation and works are for sale. While it is a not-for-profit event, any surplus goes toward promoting the visual arts on Waiheke Island. Visitors can vote for their favourite sculpture, with the most popular winning the Peoples' Choice Award.

The sculpture event is on until February 19.