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Updated: 15 March 2019
Website Owner: Dr. Kenneth M. Baker
The Statue of Opo Returns to the Hokianga
Opo the Dolphin

After being vandalised, as a result of community
efforts, the famous statue of Opo the Dolphin
which used to be on display beside the road at
Opononi, has now been completely restored
and returned to the shores of the Hokianga. On
the 23 May 2013, the statue was returned to
permanent display at the Museum of the
Hokianga Historical Society at Omapere where
she will be able to be visited by tourists during
the opening hours of the Museum

The statue, by sculptor Russell Clark, was
erected in about 1960 as a tribute to Opo, the
dolphin who made headlines around the world in
the summer of 1955 when he entertained
beachgoers and played with children at
Opononi Beach, Hokianga.

Meanwhile, a group from the Hokianga have
banded together to get a new sculpture put up
at the spot where the original statue stood.

Opo was so well known, there was even a song
written about the dolphins antics with children.
The restored original statue of Opo the Dolphin by Russell Clark, now restored and on view at the
Hokianga Historical Society's Museum at Omapere - photo coutesy Owen Whaley
The original statue of Opo the Dolphin by Russell Clark as it
appeared in Opononi prior to 2011 - photo courtesy Ken Baker
Hokianga History and Memorabilia
The new bronze statue of Opo the Dolphin was unveiled at
Opononi on 14 September 2013.  In the photo Dawn Underwood (in
red) who played with Opo as a child, far right is Rev. John Claricich
who blessed the new statue and (back to camera), Ian
Leigh-Mackenzie who Chaired the Committee to  establish the new
statue - photo courtesy Ken Baker