Shifting the furniture on a grand scale

The Kauri Staircase makes its cumbersome route to a new location in Kauri Unearthed yesterday. Photo / Peter Jackson

Few people would enjoy changing furniture, but the crew at Far North Roading and others who had to move a giant staircase carved out of a single marsh kauri tree yesterday in Awanui had really cut their job.

The staircase has long been one of the main attractions of the former Kauri Kingdom and will be again when the revamped Kauri Unearthed opens around this time next year.

The entire complex is currently undergoing major renovations. So far, the entire front section of the building, which once housed the showroom and cafe, has been removed, which has been moved back to the original building, formerly the workshop of the Old Kauri Kingdom that was the Kaitaia Co-operative Dairy Co.

Alby Hall, who has been there for 26 years, said he helped make the staircase, which he believed weighed 16 tons. The log it came from had originally weighed three times that, and Alby turned the removed material into three or four hundred kauri shells.

The thrust to move the stairs was provided by a large excavator, which slowly hauled them deeper into the building on steel rollers. The next bit, Alby said, would be more difficult, move it sideways a few feet and then lift it onto a new base.

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