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Iwi puts the brakes on statue idea for Auckland's Bastion Point, calling it 'an idea in its infancy'

Ngāti Whātua Orākei is putting the brakes on a proposed enormous sculpture at Auckland's Bastion Point, calling discussion of its installation "premature".

Auckland Council has allocated $1 million of funding to explore the possibility of the sculpture, which would depict the Māori earth goddess Papatūānuku.

An animation by Ian Taylor shows a concept statue in place on Auckland's waterfront at Wynyard Quarter.

Chair of the Ngāti Whātua Orākei Trust Deputy Chair Ngarimu Blair said in a statement yesterday that the concept animation for the statue is only a concept, and further discussion is needed on the potential for Māori tourism across the Auckland region in a wider context.

"Our iwi development arm has raised with the Council and local boards the idea of a culturally significant icon for Tāmaki Makaurau, as part of a wider discussion on tourism and future opportunities," Ms Blair said.

"Takaparawhau/Bastion Point is a significant place for our iwi, and for all who visit and live here.

"Any sculpture idea is just that – an idea in its infancy.

"The Trust believes that any potential sculpture or pou would have to be something that we can all be proud of, and that is well thought through.

"We would need to see a full proposal and consider this in a wider context before deciding to take the idea any further."

Discussion around the statue of Papatūānuku – the Earth Mother – are at early stages, but are already proving controversial. Source: 1 NEWS