Endorsement and support for the WCEG project has come from within the equestrian community, military and history interests, and the community in general, with a wide range of opinions sought and considered. TOTI worked closely with Noeline Jeffries and her WCEG team.
TOTI chair Bill McArthur explains:
Firstly, TOTI is not a sculpture trust. Our motto is “He Tangata – For the People.” Our role, at the request of the Waikato Equestrian Group, is to assist them over council’s bureaucratic procedures so they can gift their sculpture to the people of Hamilton.
TOTI has facilitated a process known as ‘object-oriented democracy’ so that public voices could be heard in the choosing of the equestrians’ war horse sculpture.
At my first meeting with members of the Equestrian Group, to hear individuals express their passion, knowledge and love for horses was very moving. There was an intimacy, a practical know-how, with a deep understanding of the equine world unknown to me, and the wider general public. The idea that a horse does miss and feel the loss of its rider who has either been killed or is missing in action was quite an emotional moment.
This proposed war horse sculpture is an opportunity to provide a significant experience for young people, that they may also learn and understand this aspect of our history. Particularly as its design incorporates characteristics based on the input of equestrians and military veterans, and the sculpture is located in the sacred place of Memorial Park.
Dr Bill McArthur (TOTI chair) ‘who we are?’