Sculpture commemorates 50 years of New Zealand Steel in Waiuku

NZ Steel Chief Executive Gretta Stephens and artist Fred Graham.

New Zealand Steel has commissioned award-winning artist Fred Graham to design a piece of public art that will reflect and recognise the company’s 50 year history and commemorate its contribution to the Waiuku community.

Work has started with a ceremonial sod-turning event in October with Ngati te Ata Kaumatua George Flavell blessing the new sculpture.

While Fred’s design has not yet been unveiled, it is symbolic of three key aspects; Iwi, NZ Steel and our community, it tells the story of the past, the present and the future.

NZ Steel Project Manager, Glen Mouchi says generations of local families are connected to the company.

“The aim of the artwork is to reflect and celebrate that history and to thank the many parts of our community who have supported our company for over 50 years.  We wanted the project to involve local people as much as we could to be a true community piece and that has certainly been the case.

“We hope this space will be a special place for families to spend time together and reflect on the past, the present and the future.”

Fred says he has many sculptures around New Zealand. But is very excited about this one, an opportunity to have a piece of his artwork in his hometown of Waiuku where he and his wife Norma have lived for more than 30 years.

Last year Fred was recognised with the Icon Award which honours senior New Zealand artists for their extraordinary achievements.  Artists that are recognised as leaders in their field.

The sculpture is expected to be finished in February 2020 and will be commemorated with an official unveiling celebration.