Untitled [Aotea Lagoon]


Guy Ngan



  • Sculpture


  • Steel


  • Approx. H2100 x W1220mm

Guy Ngan, 'Untitled [Aotea Lagoon]' (1979), Aotea Lagoon, Papakōwhai, Porirua.

Source: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, 2019.


This work was commissioned by the Porirua branch of Rotary International
as the centrepiece of a rose garden they developed at Aotea Lagoon.

The sculpture was installed in October 1979, and Guy Ngan stated at the unveiling: "I've had many moments of pleasure working on this. For its size it took the shortest time of any I have done. I can remember several smaller projects that took much longer but none that gave me as much pleasure as this one." (Kapi-Mana News, March 11, 1980, p.3).

A plaque on the sculpture is inscribed "Made by Chubb Lock and Safe" and "Guy Ngan 1979" around the Rotary International emblem (see photo in More images).

Aotea Lagoon was officially opened in March 1980. The rose garden was one of three amenities developed by local community groups that were co-ordinated by Porirua City Council (see Aotea Lagoon at Wikipedia). The garden was a circular-walled area with six wedge-shaped rose beds and radial paths from the centre to a perimeter path inside the wall, all in brick.
The sculpture stood on a low circular brick plinth at the centre of the garden
(see two photos of the work taken by Guy Ngan in More images).

In 1994, the Crown gave the park to Porirua City Council, and the council wrote the Aotea Lagoon Management Plan (a reference copy is held at Porirua Library Local Heritage Resource Centre index 993.147 AOT REF).
The plan, published in December 1994, showed the sculpture and rose garden still in their original configuration (a photo of the garden and nearby amenities is on p.22).

However, by summer 2015 the sculpture had been moved out of the garden
to its current position on the adjacent south lawn by the line of trees separating the lawn from the path around the lagoon (see an aerial photo centred on the sculpture at LINZ).

At some point, the work had also been modified: a hollow in the top half of the spire (see the second photo by Guy Ngan in More images) had been covered.

In the garden, the plinth was built up into a rose bed with a concrete finish,
bricks on the radial paths were replaced with grass and a section of wall separating the garden from the adjacent fernery was taken down. The fernery itself was taken down between the summers of 2015 and 2019.

In May 2024, the council announced it is working with Porirua Rotary on
moving the sculpture to a more prominent position and taking down the rose garden. It is hoped the bricks can be recycled for the sculpture's new plinth
(see Porirua rose garden to get a modern upgrade at Porirua City Council).