Temporary de-installation of the Ferns sculpture in Te Ngākau Civic Square

9 May 2019

The Ferns sculpture in Te Ngākau Civic Square will be temporarily removed in the next couple of weeks to undergo review and restoration of the wire-to-sculpture connection system.

Photo of Neil Dawson's Ferns sculpture in Civic Square

A possible issue was identified when a routine review was undertaken in December 2018. It was agreed then that these connections would be monitored, and in April a further inspection was undertaken.

The engineers advised Wellington City Council yesterday that it is their preference to lower the sculpture to ground level as a safety mitigation measure, and to allow more detailed measurement, investigation of the cause of the distress, and undertake remedial work. 

The removal of the work will happen as soon as the weather is appropriate and the logistics can be managed. It will be transported to a fabrication workshop where closer inspection can be made and remedial work undertaken.

The Council is acting under the advice of the engineers who designed the cabling system in the first place, and they will be working to re-install Ferns as soon as possible. Their expectation is that the investigation, remedial work and re-installation will take a couple of months depending on weather.

Costs and timelines will be known following the initial engineer’s report.

The sculpture itself is in good condition and has performed as anticipated since its installation.

Artist Neil Dawson has expressed his disappointment and has offered to assist if necessary.