This sculpture is is a stylised pohutukawa flower and is located where the the Hobson Street traffic pours into the motorway south, and into the northwestern motorway. Design by Rod Slater, who appears to have been an engineer involved in the motorway project. There may have been a (rather low-key) cult following of this flower, which has even got its own page on myspace (spiky red thing). The image at The Big Idea shows clearly that once upon a time the colour of this object was a resplendent red – it has faded significantly over the years. The yellow stamens are illuminated at night – I wonder how they change the lightbulbs.