The moa has landed in Duntroon

The North Otago town of Duntroon is undergoing a transformation to recreate its history with help from Meridian’s Waitaki Community Fund.


“The most recent project, a life-size moa sculpture, creates a surprise element and adds an artistic aspect to the total visitor experience in Duntroon,” says Mike Gray from the Duntroon District Development Association. “The sculpture, created by Matt King, rose from the blacksmith’s scrap heap and landed in Duntroon next to the historic Brewery Hole and Nicol’s Blacksmith.

The sculpture recreates the South Island giant moa which was the biggest of the species; bones from these birds were found in the Waitaki Valley predominantly around the Waitaki River mouth. The reconstruction uses ‘metal bones’ crafted from the Blacksmith’s scrap heap.

“The Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail is bringing more people through the township, which is providing the community with a real opportunity to raise awareness of what’s going on in Duntroon as well as growing business in the town. Our focus is on preserving and promoting the heritage of Duntroon and the surrounding area and making them a showpiece for locals and visitors,” says Mike.

Waitaki Community Fund chair Mat Bayliss says that supporting projects that create direct benefits for communities near to generation assets is really important to Meridian. “Most of our hydro stations are located in the Waitaki Basin, and we’re really proud to support local projects.”

The community fund has also contributed to upgrading Nicol’s Blacksmith, the Brewery Hole, the Duntroon wetlands and the Vanished World Fossil Centre.