Rotorua carver Albert Te Pou has been reunited with two very special carvings at his workshop.
The Hinemoa and Tutanekai tekoteko (carved human form) he completed for the City Focus back in 1994 are now with him for restoring so they can take pride of place back at the northern entrance of the refurbished inner-city feature.
As part of the City Focus refresh, the taonga were taken down by Traditional Landscapes and Tallyho Industries, under the watchful eye of Rotorua Lakes Council community arts adviser Marc Spijkerbosch.
They will go back up on the pillars once construction is complete.
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Mr Te Pou said the macrocarpa carvings looked sound when they arrived but would need some of his artistry because of 20 years of weathering.
Once he fixes the imperfections that nature has rendered, Mr Te Pou will prepare the wood using an oil-based primer and then two coats of burgundy paint, similar to the colour of the carvings in Government Gardens.
Mr Te Pou was in his mid-20s when he carved Hinemoa and Tutanekai and was fresh out of his training at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Craft Institute at Whakarewarewa.
"It will be nice to see them back up, if people like what they see, then that's a bonus for me."
Mr Spijkerbosch said he was looking forward to seeing the taonga back where they belong after the refresh.