Auckland’s Millennium Shaft

I love a good public art saga and of interest at the time was the fracas over the Millennium Tree.


In 2005 the Chinese community gifted a one hundred and fifty thousand dollar stylised chrome tree sculpture to Auckland City. It was plonked in the Parnell Rose Gardens to all the usual fanfare and everyone stood around congratulating themselves on their contribution to the “public space”.

All well and good, but Parnell-ians kicked up a fuss claiming they weren’t consulted and that the gleaming dong clashed with the Victorian style of the Gardens.

It finally found a home next to the Winter Gardens in the Domain where it still looks out of place.

As modern sculpture goes I think it truly belongs in the “meh” school of abstract representation. Having said that there’s much worst examples of public art in the city; that Pohutukawa thing down by Pitt Street enticing commuters to travel the stress-free motorways of Auckland for example.