Moorings is made of hardwood ironbark and steel bollards and was gifted by the Dunedin-based artist Peter Nicholls, formerly of Whanganui.
Each bollard represent one of the nine tributaries which flow in and out of the Whanganui River. The tributaries include Whakapapa, Kakahi, Ōngarue, Ōhura, Retaruke, Tāngarākau, Mangapurua, Manganuiōteao and Ahuahu. The placement of each bollard represents the angle at which the tributary approaches the Whanganui River and each bollard is weighted to represent the size of the tributary.
The ironbark used in the sculpture is estimated to be 200-years-old. It originated from Australia and was used to build Dunedin’s Terminal Wharf, which was demolished in the late 1970s.
Peter Nicholls produced a sculpture called Whanganui 1990, also referencing the Whanganui River, in The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Te Rehua Whanganuipermanent collection. It is made with logs gathered from the river and sea, with objects from Māori and colonial history embedded in it.