The first sculpture commissioned by the Taupo Sculpture Trust, this work symbolises the two sides of the legendary Cloak.

One of the Cloak’s two panels is coloured using warm brown earth tones depicting the volcanic nature of the region. The other has the cool blues and greens which represent the lake, sky and river.

The 4000 coloured glass ‘feathers’ were made at Lava Glass by Taupo artist, Lynden Over and his team of glass workers.

Each feather was made by gathering molten glass onto a blowpipe from a liquid pool of glass in a furnace at 1060 degrees Celsius. The molten glass was then hand blown and formed into a tube from which each feather was tweezered, shaped and cut. When cool the feathers were fixed to the flat glass panels to create the stunning final effect  to be enjoyed by all.

The Great Cloak of Tia

Ngāti Tūwharetoa traces its origins from the early explorers Ngatoroirangi and Tia. They both came to Aotearoa aboard the Te Arawa canoe. The canoe landed at two places: The river of the God and Maketū. It is from there that Tia began his journey to the belly of the great fish of Māui in the Central North Island.

Tia travelled South along the eastern shores near Hātepe and noticed a formation of rock that drew his attention. In looking closely he thought it resembled the heavy cloak or ‘taupo’ draped over his shoulders. Such was the likeness that he hung it on a nearby post and in doing so applied the name.

Glass/volcanic rhyolite rock/2750 x 1400 x 200mm

A joint commission by the Taupo Sculpture Trust and the Taupo District Council. With funding from Taupo District Council, Taupo Moana Rotary Club, Creative Taupo


Lynden Over is a highly regarded and award-winning New Zealand glass artist. His style is striking and unusual. His inspiration comes from the distinctive and dramatic New Zealand landscape; its geology and its light.