Volunteers are the lifeblood of NZ Sculpture OnShore

Volunteers are the lifeblood of NZ Sculpture OnShore

When you think about the event NZ Sculpture OnShore, New Zealand’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition, the logistics are massive. A usually empty clifftop site which also boasts an underground fort is transformed into a stunning sculpture park and over a three week period over 20,000 visitors will view the work of over 100 artists. Many of these pieces are large scale, designed to complement the dramatic site overlooking the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island. Or they may be incredibly complex and timely to install like the 10,000 windmills by Bernie Harfleet and Donna Turtle Sateen in 2016.

Undoubtedly what is as impressive as the event itself is the fact that most of the work required to make it happen is carried out by an army of volunteers. Everyone is working for the same cause – to make a valuable difference to the lives of around 20,000 women and children every year by raising funds for Women's Refuge.

"It's really a cast of thousands, from those working on the gate and ticketing to ambassadors and guides, school education team, marketing and publicity, billboards, art sales and safety and logistics…the list goes on" says Liz Darlow, Site Volunteer Coordinator for NZ Sculpture OnShore. "And when you're relying on volunteers, it's not like each person works full-time on the job. You inevitably have greater numbers of people, some of whom are able to offer up a few hours during the event or maybe 10 or 20 hours a week in the year or months leading up to Sculpture OnShore” she adds.

The biennial event which will take place this November has been extended to incorporate a third weekend so even more volunteers will be needed according to Liz. "Our volunteers are the life blood of this event. We simply couldn't exist without them and they come from all over Auckland. Some who have moved out of Auckland come back to help each time. This year we have around 600 volunteer slots to be filled!"

"It's an incredible amount of organisation and good communication is crucial because it's not a matter of a group sitting in an office together nutting out issues and problems. Everyone agrees though that it's a wonderful community event and everyone has fun and is ultimately really proud of what they have helped to achieve. Many volunteers have an interest in art but more than anything what unites them and creates incredible goodwill is giving time to a truly worthy cause" she adds.

NZ Sculpture OnShore is one of the largest supporters of Women’s Refuge NZ and has donated over $1.7 million since its’ inception, helping women and children access safe places to stay, counselling and wrap around services. NZ Sculpture OnShore is grateful for the generous support of its sponsors, including Hesketh Henry, Harcourts Cooper & Co and Fisher Funds.

The 2018 NZ Sculpture OnShore runs from the 3rd-18th November at Fort Takapuna, Devonport, Auckland.If you are interested in volunteering please let us know by contacting us on helpnzsos@gmail.com.

Contact details:

Nic Russell | nrussellcommunications@gmail.com

NZ Sculpture OnShore 2018 Event Information

When: 3rd-18th November 2018 | Closed Mon 5th & Mon 12th Nov
Time: 10am-5pm Daily
Where: Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve | Devonport | Auckland
Tickets: Adults $20 | Children $5 | Concession $15 | Family $45

Our Sponsors

We are grateful for the generous and on-going support of our sponsors.
To find out more about how these organisations help us to help Women's Refuge NZ, click on the logos below.


Fisher Funds


Hesketh Henry

Harcourts Cooper & Co

Perpetual Guardian