Pukeko takes flight

17:00, Jun 06 2013
Pukeko
GOODBYE: Kevin Kilsby farewells the giant pukeko sculpture that has been perched on the roof of his ceramics store for more than a decade.

A colossal pukeko that's become something of a landmark on a busy street is settling into a new home.

Ceramic artist Kevin Kilsby is shifting premises which means the 2.5 metre pukeko sculpture that has been perched on the roof of his shop at the corner of Richardson Rd and Weston Rd, Mt Albert, for the last 12 years has had to move.

It's been given to West Auckland's Colwill School.

"It's a bit of a local landmark. People give directions based on it," Mr Kilsby says.

"We'll be sad to see it go but it just wouldn't look right standing in my front garden. At least it can still be enjoyed."

The artist is well known for his hand-painted pukeko and is moving his shop to his nearby pottery studio.

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The original idea for the sculpture came from an employee who had been a prop maker for the Lord Of The Rings movies.

"It was one of those things you say ‘yes' to before you've thought about it."

For just a few minutes the pukeko got to take flight when it was winched from the roof last week.

A small crowd of passersby gathered to watch it leave.

Colwill School has recently rebranded and made the pukeko its symbol.

"They seemed the obvious way to go," principal Robert Taylor says. "When the Genesis Energy advert came on television the kids started talking about pukekos being smart and we thought ‘OK we can use this to get the kids thinking about how to behave'."

The pukeko will be given a fresh coat of paint and a tidy up before he is unveiled in his spot overlooking the school playground.

Central Leader