NZTA plans to return Pohutukawa sculpture to blooming best


Auckland's Pohutukawa sculpture marking the southern entrance to the CBD is set to flower again after a restoration makeover from the NZ Transport Agency.

The sculpture, located at the intersection formed where the Southern and Northwestern Motorway offramps merge with Hobson, Union and Nelson Streets, was constructed in 2006.    Exposure to a combination of sun, wind and traffic pollution has faded the sculpture’s 105 distinctive stamens from red to pink over the past five years.

“The makeover will be the chance for us to show off our equivalent of a gardener’s green fingers,” says the NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker

The stamens are made of hollowed and tapered fibre glass wands, similar to those used on the masts of windsurfers.   They will all be removed and repainted with paint better able to resist weather and traffic conditions.  At the same time, the site around the sculpture will be landscaped.

Restoration work, which will be undertaken by the NZTA’s Auckland Motorway Alliance, is due to start on Wednesday [16 March].   Mr Parker advises people to drive with care around the sculpture site for two weeks. Traffic management will be operating for the safety of drivers and those working on the restoration.

The 105 stamens are approximately 5m in length and are set in seven green-tiled domes on top of a block base. The stamens are lit at night by lights at the bases and ends.

Architect Rod Slater of engineering consultants Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner was the chief designer, and the installation work was directed by sculptor Quintin Strachan.

About the Auckland Motorway Alliance AMA
The Auckland Motorway Alliance (AMA) was formed in 2008 to maintain and operate Auckland’s 220 kilometres of motorway network. Led by the NZTA, the AMA comprises of Fulton Hogan, Opus International Consultants, Beca, Resolve Group and Armitage Systems Ltd.

As well as being a first point of call for customers, the AMA is responsible for the day to day operation of the 220 kilometres of the Auckland motorway network including traffic and environmental management, research and development, safety work and maintenance.