The installation of the Hemo Gorge roundabout sculpture has been delayed yet again and is expected to be installed by the end of the financial year.

It was last announced the sculpture would be installed this month but when the Rotorua Daily Post questioned Rotorua Lakes Council on the expected installation the council admitted it was not on track.

The reason for the latest delay was unclear as the company creating the sculpture said it was finished.

The council's operations group manager, Henry Weston, said, "Construction on site won't be happening in February as we had anticipated, but we expect it will be before the end of the financial year."

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Rotorua Lakes Council's financial year runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

A June installation date would amount to a 23-month delay from when the 12m-high sculpture was first intended to be installed in July 2017.

Initially, the sculpture was to be completed after construction of the Hemo Gorge roundabout but delays due to roadworks and to the material being used to build the sculpture meant it was set back.

It is unclear why the sculpture has been delayed again but the council did discuss the matter confidentially, away from the public and the media, at its Operations and Monitoring Committee meeting on Thursday.

The $500,000 sculpture was designed by Stacey Gordine, head of the National Stone and Bone Carving School at Te Puia, and is being 3D printed by Rotorua company Kilwell Fibretube.

When asked if the delay had increased costs Weston said, "Council is still finalising details with the contractors."

Kilwell Fibretube chief executive Craig Wilson said the sculpture was 100 per cent printed however they were doing touch-ups leading up to the assembly of the sculpture this coming week.

Craig Wilson at Kilwell Fibretube printing the Hemo Roundabout sculpture. Photo / File
Craig Wilson at Kilwell Fibretube printing the Hemo Roundabout sculpture. Photo / File

He said he could only estimate the tricky time frame.

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"I can't say how long it is going to take, because like the rest of the project it is something new that hasn't been done before."

Wilson said there had been a lot of testing to reach certification level which had caused delays.

"Anything that goes into public domain there is a certification level.

"It's not council and it's not us either, it's purely decided by engineers. You do what they say to reach the certification. It is all out of our hands."