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Glen Surgenor CREDIT: Word of Mouth Media NZ

Leading NZ carver to donate significant commemorative pounamu koru for Christchurch
Monday 12 September 2011, 2:12PM
By Word of Mouth Media NZ


A leading New Zealand greenstone carver is gifting a significant and commemorative pounamu koru sculpture to the people of Christchurch as a symbol to guard over the earthquake-hit city.

Hokitika’s Glen Surgenor has been carving and shaping pounamu for 27 years and he said he wanted to give a special big koru to watch over the city, to help lift people’s spirits and give them hope in rebuilding their future.

``I believe there are many more people suffering in Christchurch – individually and collectively - than the news shows us on television,’’ Surgenor said today.

`` The losses both personally and financially will continue to burden Canterbury for many years.

The koru will represent new beginnings and growth which is appropriate for this presentation gift.’’

The carving will be handed over to Christchurch mayor Bob Parker in October for it to be suitably seen by the people of Christchurch. It is substantial jade carving and has a retail value of $3000. The meaning of the special piece translates as new beginnings and growth. Surgenor will also gift a small mere to Parker as a token of his leadership and commitment during the time of the earthquakes.

Surgenor has shaped many big pieces in the past including one work of art valued at $120,000 for the NZ Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Society centenary 10 years ago.

It was a three dimensional figure carving based on their motto: the plumber protects the nation. The half metre high trophy is presented annually for excellence in the plumbing and gas fitting group. Some years ago he carved 13 merino pounamu rams for the world merino in Christchurch.

``I have done hundreds of large carvings over the years specialising in large sculptures until the global economy took a downturn a few years ago.

``Now days I sell a lot of my work on Trade Me which is quite refreshing as most of my customers are Kiwis and not tourist. So it’s nice to know much of my pounamu work is staying in New Zealand now.’’

For the past 13 years Surgenor has also have competed in cowboy action shooting as part of the NZ Pistol Association. He is the president of the Hokitika Pistol Club which will be running their annual cowboy challenge on September 23-25. Hokitika will host the South Island championships next year.