Giant whale and jadestone wave sold on TradeMe

The bidding wars are over and two Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP) student sculptures are now on their way to new homes.

Jade and Hard Stone Carving Certificate students spent more than 120 hours crafting their limestone sculptures, which were auctioned online via Trademe.

Rivalling any child in size, the limestone sculptures of a giant whale and wave attracted a raft of bidders, with the final pieces selling for $505 and $999 respectively.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic General Manager Dr Teresa Schwellnus says the successful auctions have been a great confidence boost for the students, who have enjoyed having their art appreciated off-campus.

“We are extremely proud of them. From the feedback we’ve received, the community is eager to see what we do next.”


The limestone whale was designed and carved by students Annie Inwood, Monique Reekers, Anthony Wetere-Sweet, Hector Tainui and Veronica Salas. The students based their artwork on the four elements, fire, earth, air and water, to carefully reflect key messages of Maoridom.

The piece sold for $505, while the 650kg Te wahi pounamu (The Place of Pounamu) was purchased by a Christchurch buyer for $999.


The wave-like creation from students Storm Cameron, Francey-J Kara, Nikita Stevenson, Stefan Sheffield, and Vicky Dawson engulfs and protects the jadestone centrepiece. The group designed their piece to represent pounamu of the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, and the waters of the taniwha Poutini that protects both the stone and land.

This year is the first time students have been able to auction their artwork.

Schwellnus says they want to take the project further next year. “We would like to have the two stones purchased along with the right to commission the students. Therefore people can advise what they would like a sculpture of and work with the students on the design, this would give the students experience of doing commission work.”

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Mequa Hourston, Communications and Marketing Manager
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