24 Oct 2011

Memorial unveiled to Moko the dolphin

5:47 pm on 24 October 2011

A memorial to Moko the friendly dolphin has been unveiled on Mahia Peninsula near Gisborne.

Moko, which died last year, was well known for swimming in the waters around the peninsula.

The monument was made by a Gisborne stonemason, with the upper section made of black granite. It includes the story of Moko in silver lettering and a photo of him with a boogie board.

The blue granite base represents the ocean waves.

The bottle-nosed dolphin became an international tourist attraction soon after arriving at Mahia Beach in April 2007.

He was found dead on Matakana Island near Tauranga in July last year and was buried there, following debate between local hapu and the iwi on Mahia Peninsula.

Bill Shortt, who first spotted Moko, says locals had a close attachment to the dolphin, and helped design the memorial.