Wellington Scoop

Ferns sculpture to be taken down after concern about safety of cabling


News from Wellington City Council
The Ferns sculpture in Te Ngākau Civic Square will be temporarily removed in the next couple of weeks to undergo review and restoration of the wire-to-sculpture connection system.

A possible issue was identified when a routine review was undertaken in December. It was agreed then that these connections would be monitored, and in April a further inspection was undertaken.

The engineers advised the Wellington City Council on Wednesday that it is their preference to lower the sculpture to ground level as a safety mitigation measure, and to allow more detailed measurement, investigation of the cause of the distress, and undertake remedial work.

The removal of the work will happen as soon as the weather is appropriate and the logistics can be managed. It will be transported to a fabrication workshop where closer inspection can be made and remedial work undertaken.

The Council is acting under the advice of the engineers who designed the cabling system in the first place, and they will be working to re-install Ferns as soon as possible. Their expectation is that the investigation, remedial work and re-installation will take a couple of months depending on weather.

Costs and timelines will be known following the initial engineer’s report.

The sculpture itself is in good condition and has performed as anticipated since its installation.

Artist Neil Dawson has expressed his disappointment and has offered to assist if necessary.

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  1. Andrew, 9. May 2019, 18:25

    Why install it if you have issues with the design? Surely the engineers can self review and decide if their solution is fit for purpose rather than installing the sculpture and then second guessing themselves.

  2. michael, 9. May 2019, 22:34

    For goodness sake. How many engineers and how much time and expense does it take to work out whether some cables holding up the fern sculpture are safe? If they can’t get that right, how are we supposed to have faith in their ability when it comes to big projects?

  3. Andy, 12. May 2019, 8:56

    Would you rather the ball fell down and injured people? They’re doing the right thing.

  4. Andrew, 12. May 2019, 16:51

    Maybe they should not have reinstalled the ball, if there is such a level of doubt in the design that was used?