Sculpture cuts to heart of Fiordland issue

21:03, Aug 07 2012

A driftwood sculpture on Fiordland College grounds is there to inspire students to take care and debate changes to the environment.

Riverton artist Wayne Hill donated his sculpture of two trees with a bladesaw between them to the Save Fiordland campaign.

College deputy principal Shaun Cantwell said the sculpture was placed on the grounds to encourage debate.

Proposals for a Milford Dart tunnel and the Fiordland Link Experience monorail have received numerous submissions from people against the proposals.

Mr Cantwell said as a school it did not and could not have a formal opinion on the issues represented by the sculpture.

However, as an educational institution it would also be remiss if it did not partake in what was a strong community issue.

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"In our charter one of our specific aims is on environmental excellence and ‘reflects the community desire for a focus on sustainability and the use of the natural environment in which the school is located as a key context for learning'," he said.

"Therefore we welcome the unveiling today to provoke thought amongst our students and community.

"We want our students to think about the issues involved in what is being proposed, to consider the argument - for and against - and to form their own opinion."

Mr Cantwell said the sculpture would stay indefinitely on the grounds.

Year 9 student Richard Crouchley, 13, in his speech at the unveiling, said: "Because we live here, we owe it to ourselves to take a good hard look at these development proposals.

"I'm not trying to tell you what to think, I'm just asking that you do think about it. Not just for us locals, but for the people that visit too. How real an experience of Fiordland can they have travelling underneath it, or zooming past encased in plastic?"

The Southland Times