The troubled, long-delayed Hemo Gorge roundabout sculpture is edging closer to completion, but when it is likely to be installed is not yet known.
Originally scheduled for completion and installation in July 2017, Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown was the sculpture's latest barrier.
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Nearly three years later, Rotorua Lakes Council has confirmed both helix components have been completed with the final tubes laminated in place.
Now Kilwell Fibretube, the local company contracted to build the 12m-high sculpture, is awaiting fine weather for the tubes and joints to be painted.
Council's group manager operations Jocelyn Mikaere said a date for the installation of the sculpture had not been set.
"Given its complex nature and the variables that need to align, council cannot give an indication of how much notice can be given prior to installation," Mikaere said.
Those variables include aligning the timing for road closure, calm weather and the availability of the transport helicopter.
In March last year, documents released to the Rotorua Daily Post revealed the cost of installing and creating the sculpture had risen to $743,029, an estimated $204,361 overspend.
When asked whether this latest delay had increased the cost of the project, Mikaere said there had been no further decisions about costs over and above the $388,000 contribution council committed to in March 2019.
"Elected members would need to consider and make final decisions about any variation to council's contribution."
Kilwell chief executive Craig Wilson said the sculpture was just one of the projects the company was working on.
He said there had been some "hard yards" getting to this point but it was nice to see it coming together.
The project has faced numerous delays, firstly when it was discovered only a limited number of companies in the world were capable of constructing the design, and again when changes to the laminate used to make the sculpture meant more material was needed than expected.
The project has required 1700 pieces, 17,300 hours of printing, and more than 252km of biodegradable thermoplastic.
The sculpture was designed by an artist from the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute at Te Puia.
It was inspired by the story of Te Arawa chief Ngātoroirangi, who was responsible for the safe passage of people to New Zealand.