We had another post planned for today, but if ever there was a story that this blog should be discussing, then this is it. We’re big on mythology here at Eye of the Fish – we like the improbable tale that Maui and his brothers were in a big waka and overdid it with their kai moana quota, and basically fished up Aotearoa from the depths. (updated 12th December – see pictures below)


Wellington is the Eye of the Fish, and the harbour is the Mouth, so yes, why not accept that the gorge of Ngauranga is going to have a giant fish hook gashed in its gilltrap. Traditionally that fish-hook was off the east cape in Hawkes Bay, but hey, myths are always flexible.


I like it – and what a stunning location – the drive down the gorge is fantastic already with the splendid harbour view opening up before you as your mighty motor redlines and you jockey for position amongst the wildly revving Huttites for the final stretch in your autowaka back to your humble beachside whare.

Yet, while I like it a lot (and have been waiting a long time for this: the nose of the Fish had long ago sniffed out that there was a ‘grand idea’ archway in the offing) I’m dismayed at only one thing. Going into a mega-recession, with the cliff-edge we’re all due to fall off looming ever closer, the timing is abysmal and the outcry may be loud – although perhaps they’ve waited till now to cheer us up for Christmas. Still:

The Hook of Maui project has the support of local iwi, including the Wellington Tenths Trust and Ngati Kahungunu. Wellington City Council has contributed $666,000 toward the gateway sculpture project since it was first suggested more than five years ago. The rest of the money has come from private donations. Te Matau a Maui features a 35-metre tower embedded on the harbour side of the motorway above the Hutt Valley railway tunnel between Ngauranga and Kaiwharawhara and a 14-metre hook coming out of the other side of the road. A laser would pierce the night sky from the top of the shaft to symbolise a fishing line.  

And not only that – it’s got impecable designer credentials – no less than Taika Waititi, Megan Wraight, and Claude Hibder. Hibder (about whom I can find no information on) is a lighting and installation artist, and obviously also had input into the other part of the project as well: the shimmering waters flowing off the land into the surrounds of the Terrace Tunnel. Well done Kerry, and well done design team – we’re looking forward to it.


Update: We’ve had a disk packed full of images sent to us by the ever helpful Mr MacLean of the WCC – and so we’re including a couple of extra images for you, of the hook by day….. 


….. and by night. 


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