Moa links history, farm and forge

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A moa has been spotted hanging around Duntroon _ and will be there for years to come.
A metal moa sculpture, created by Herbert-based sculptor Matt King, was recently installed at the rear of Nicol’s Blacksmith Shop, and has proved popular with locals and tourists alike.
Mr King said he was approached by Duntroon and District Development Association chairman Mike Gray about creating an artwork for the area. “I was also keen to have a bit of a go at welding, and it seemed to make sense. As we went along, it made more and more sense.” The moa, which stands at more than 1.5m tall, is made from decades-old farm machinery, including chains from chaff cutters and blades from gorse cutters, which Mr King said fitted the moa’s location perfectly. “It’s all made from stuff originally made in a forge, and with its position there, we’ve got a good connection between the forge and the moa so I said I’d give it a go.” He said he had many of the parts already but did need to scrounge some mouldboards from a plough to create the moa’s hips. “I made it here at Herbert and it probably took over a year, closer to two years, probably, but once I had it started, the welding wasn’t too arduous. It was probably about 100 hours I spent on it.” Mr King, who also created the moa which stands outside Old Bones Lodge on Beach Rd, said he was pleased with the final result. “I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s one of the best moas I’ve done . . . I don’t think I’ll get the same bunch of stuff in the same place again.
“I was lucky to be given the opportunity to do it. I was very inspired by Chris Meder _ I was thinking about him when I did it.” The late Mr Meder was well known for works similar to the moa, made from recycled metals. The cost of the sculpture was covered by the Meridian Energy Waitaki Community Fund.