Wellington Scoop

Accused of damaging waterfront sculpture: 28-year-old in court


Report from RNZ
The man charged over breaking a valuable Len Lye sculpture on Wellington’s waterfront appeared in court this morning. Hunter Laurie Browne MacDonald, 28, was remanded without plea and will reappear in court on 30 November.

The Water Whirler sculpture snapped in October after Mr MacDonald climbed to the top of it and it bent under his weight.

Mr MacDonald would not talk to media following his court appearance, walking straight to a waiting Uber.

Days after breaking the sculpture, Mr MacDonald told Stuff he was “bored out of my mind” while walking along the waterfront.

He then decided to climb the sculpture, which cost about $300,000 when it was installed in 2006.

“I decided to stop and sort of attempt some sort of gymnastic, acrobatic stuff on the sculpture.”

The sculpture has been under repair since the Kaikoura earthquake in 2016, and was to return to operation this month.

Report from RNZ on October 10
A man has been charged with wilful damage over breaking the $300,000 Len Lye scupture on Wellington’s waterfront.

The Water Whirler sculpture was snapped in when the man climbed to the top of it.

In a video, Hunter MacDonald apologised and promised to do whatever was required to make amends.

Wellington mayor Justin Lester said while the apology was nice, pursing a civil claim against Mr MacDonald was pointless.

But he would like to see some community service, and a court may decide to force some reparation.

“It’s just a really silly act and rightfully Wellingtonians have been very, very disappointed.”

The court appearance is due in the next couple of weeks.