The stunning 5.2 metre cast bronze is called Te Pūatatangi ki Te Ika a Māui, Dawn Chorus on the Fish of Māui. It references one of New Zealand’s great creation stories – the legend of Māui fishing up the North Island. Standing in his South Island waka, Māui landed a gargantuan fish, which we know as the North Island.
Anchoring Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery within the surrounding landscape, the sculpture sits in the middle of the pond adjacent to the centre’s entrance.
Palmerston North artist Dibble first developed the sculpture in 2008, as part of a series of artworks based on creation and immortality myths. He made several changes over the years, including the addition of a ruru (morepork) to represent Nightshade, a bird whose treatment was provided by Wildbase.
The unveiling coincided with Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery reaching a great achievement of more than 50,000 visitors since opening.
The funding for the sculpture was generously supported by the Wildbase Recovery Community Trust, the Palmerston North Public Sculpture Trust and a number of local benefactors. Rangitāne o Manawatū blessed the sculpture.