An Artist/blacksmith is commissioned to forge a sculpture of an endangered native bird. South Canterbury's Noel Gregg is one of the last of a breed who works metal in a way that has changed very little in a thousand or two years.
There is new money rolling around the hills of South Canterbury, and the Twizel Promotions Council know how to spend it.
Nearing retirement, Artist/Blacksmith Noel Gregg is commissioned to build two 3 metre black stilts, or kaki, the worlds most endangered wading bird. These are to take pride of place in the soon to be remodelled Twizel Town Centre.
The sculptures will bring a new profile to a bird that the Department of Conservation has been increasingly successful in breeding. Five years ago the numbers of adult birds were down to 31; today DOC has bred and released into predator cleared wetlands over 100 birds.
The size of this commission and the physicality of his job means that Noel is facing a significant challenge building the Kaki. Perhaps it will be his swan song.