The Welcome Cloak after it was originally installed last year.

Fresh welcome for missing artwork


One of Nelson’s newest artworks, “Welcome Cloak” will soon be back at Saltwater Creek after a five-month hiatus – with strengthening work to cost ratepayers another $4000 to $9000.

The artwork, which was installed last August at a cost of $51,000, including its installation and lighting, was paid for and commissioned by Nelson City Council.

It is designed to reflect the river water below and move in the wind.

It was up for less than two months before it was damaged by gusts of wind, which saw it removed in October.

The wires for the Welcome Cloak still hang over Saltwater Creek, ready for it to be reinstalled next month.
The wires for the Welcome Cloak still hang over Saltwater Creek, ready for it to be reinstalled next month.

Although the council say they are unsure exactly how much the repairs will cost, they told Nelson Weekly that the ballpark figure for the artwork is now between $55,000 and $60,000.

Chris Ward, group manager community services at the council, says that there has been a delay in getting the sculpture back up due to fish spawning season, which means that no work can be done at the site before March 15.

The artist who designed it, Adi Tait, was also out of town for two months, which has postponed its reinstallation.

The repairs involve adding space between each shape and tethering at the joints, combined with adding a bar at the base to minimise swing.

The ends of this bar will be restrained back to poles at the bank with the bottom wire, and the cloak will also be re-anodised.

Chris says that the issues that led to the artwork being taken down do not appear to be due to defective materials or workmanship.

“As a result, the council is working with the artist to reinstall the artwork and will meet costs in order to ensure it performs better and that ongoing maintenance is more cost-effective,” he says.


  1. That artist is laughing his way to the bank. That is a simply 2 families deposit on a house or Feeding families that a struggling to afford food or funding community events. This council need to get a grip. Nelson is beautiful enough without a giant neckles over a river.