The mystery builder turns out to be Finn Howell, a local man who started his building projects in memory of a friend. Since early September, he has built 23 cairns and pyramids dotted along the river bank, working at quiet times of the day to avoid being spotted, and he is inspired by the stone structures he had seen at Machu Picchu and Stonehenge. "I just went to the river and did it. They're just cool because they're built from the rocks and it's fun and it's free." The interest from others has spurred him to keep building, aiming to get the structures to at least head-height – taking up to 20 hours to construct each one. "I've got to search for each rock. Each one has to be the right shape."
Photo by PHIL REID/Dominion Post.
There was no one building more cairns this morning when we went down to the river to check them out. We saw one little pile of stones after another dotted along the river bank, and several rather substantial cairns too. Some had painted stones with messages. A tremendous amount of time and hard labour must be invested in making these cairns.