Te Werowero - The Ongoing Challenge by Chris Bailey greets and challenges visitors to Waiheke Island to respect the environment and local ways of life. - Photo: Supplied
Waiheke Islanders who have fallen in love with a temporary sculpture are fundraising to buy it.
The bronze sculpture by Waiheke Island artist Chris Bailey, called Te Werowero, was installed at Matiatia ferry terminal as part of the Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition in March.
Dan Harrop, who has lived on Waiheke for six years, saw the sculpture and thought it was too beautiful to only be there for a few weeks.
The sculpture is intended to act as a kaitiaki or guardian for the island, which welcomes visitors and challenges them to respect the island's culture, wāhi tapu, and fragile natural environment, Mr Harrop said.
Mr Bailey said he was humbled by the response to his artwork.
"A sculpture can become a sense of identity for the locals who live in an area - it's a pretty cool artistic phenomenon that happens," he said.
"So I'm pretty stoked."
It will cost $50,000 to keep the sculpture and Auckland Transport has offered to pay half, matching dollar for dollar on the fundraising campaign.
Locals have so far raised almost $11,000 on Give a Little.