A 5m giant weta will journey from Auckland to Nevada and back before possibly settling in Rangitikei.

A crowdfunding campaign is being launched today to fund the construction of the art installation which will be made from steel and will shoot flames from its antennae.

The project is being run by Auckland Burners, a group who meet regularly to discuss ideas related to Burning Man.

Burning Man is an annual festival in Black Rock Nevada and is an experiment in temporary community and art which practises radical self-reliance and participation.


Project manager Hippathy Valentine said the group needed to raise about $17,000 and the giant weta needed to be finished and loaded on to a boat by July. Burning Man begins at the end of August.

Mr Valentine said the giant weta, native to New Zealand, "will enable participants to connect with a part of New Zealand whilst at the annual event". It will then return to be installed at New Zealand's version of the event, Kiwiburn, held in Rangitikei early next year.

Following that the group will look for a permanent location which Mr Valentine said could be in Rangitikei.

"We haven't had any conversations with anyone but if we were going to gift it to anyone I think it would be a good fit for Rangitikei," he said.

Kiwiburn has been held near Hunterville for the past three years since moving from South Waikato and Mr Valentine said it would be good to give back to the community.

"We're all about building relationships," he said.

For more information visit giantweta.nz. Zaryd Wilson