Sculpture honours work on Picton-Christchurch line

12 September 2017 9:09AM

A sculpture commissioned by KiwiRail to recognise the immense impact of the Kaikoura Earthquake on the rail link between Picton and Christchurch and on the wider community will be unveiled on Friday as freight services resume on the line.

The sculpture, by internationally acclaimed Kaikoura artist Ben Foster, will be revealed at a ceremony to mark the arrival on Friday of the first freight train into Kaikoura since November last year.


“The sculpture will provide a lasting marker of the effort KiwiRail staff and our partners in the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance have put into getting freight running on the line again,” KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy says.


“It will also be an enduring reminder of the resilience of Kaikoura – and the other communities along the coast – in the wake of the devastation caused by the November 14 earthquake.


“The past 10 months have not been easy for them, and KiwiRail appreciates the co-operation they have given us over that time. It has helped us get the freight trains running ahead of schedule, and that in turn will help them by taking trucks off the alternate route.”


Mr Foster, who has worked on large sculptural commissions in Europe and Asia, says “as an artist living in Kaikoura I felt a great sense of pride in being involved with the creation of a sculpture recognising the November 2016 earthquake event and its effects to the wider community.


“With so much repair work being carried out outside of the township it is often easy to forget the enormity of the recovery project along the Kaikoura coastline that continues day and night.”


Details of the sculpture will not be revealed until the unveiling at Kaikoura Railway Station at 8am on Friday, but Mr Foster says the piece is designed to remind those viewing it that change is a constant, and to communicate the power of nature.