Nestled in Kaiaua on the western shores of the Firth of Thames, is Torea Mangu, a sculpture inspired by the resident oystercatchers and created by Tony as an identity for the Seabird Coast. Torea Mangu was a project funded by an ARC arts allocation to the then Franklin District Council and constructed over three years from planning to completion with much community support.
" Along time ago, before people came to this country, the largest land animals were birds. Torea Mangu was the mother of all oyster catchers. She had laid the first egg and had seen all the good, all the bad and everything in between. A message revealed itself where her tail feathers had fallen. A growth had appeared on the end of her beak. Some oyster catchers saw the shape of the bird and believed that this shape told what was yet to happen ...."

A plywood template was jig sawed out to give the longitudinal 4 metre profile.

This required 2 sheets of plywood cut to shape and then transported to West Auckland where steel work was fabricated to council approved plan 

The finished fabricated profile arrives at Whakatiwai after being transported on large trailer with a bit of overhang and is hanging on borrowed gantry and tackle block outside the original Penguin Studio.

Local Paper article with photo showing profile now with ribs tied onto the longitudinal welded shape to give the not quite 3 dimensional finished shape. The bird is hanging from the now extended gantry with co- sculptor Thomas Waata in centre of photo.The bird and gantry are now located in a large semi covered in carport which was built to replace the old studio condemned by the council after a complaint was made by the developer neighbour over the back fence.

The 3 dimensional shape now covered with wired on bird netting  over the ribs and stringers. Inside the outer steel and wire shaped covering are braced real estate signs joined and sealed to supply a dimensional stop for plastering

The plastering has been completed and a little housework is happening. Note the leg extensions to the gantry and the semi covered in carport. Not so obvious are the leg stubs that will carry the 2  tonne plus load that is distributed via the steel profile, ribs, stringers, and wire mesh.

Local spray painter, Terry Sadler, applies the finishing coats to the sculpture after the plaster has been sanded.

The bird is on site after being transported from the studio.The leg extensions are being welded on prior to the bird being lifted and the now longer legs being placed into the waiting sockets of the concrete plinth.

The bird is in place, the unveiling wrapping is being folded up after the dawn ceremony January 23 2005 and we are off to breakfast at the local marae. And so ends another life changing project that was sortov completed against heavy odds, the biggest being my initial ignorance of what really was involved, misplaced self confidence and a few other contributing factors

The Citroen Register  visit Torea Mangu. Click on the images to enlarge