Fundraising for the Whale Song project is soldiering on despite an application to the Provincial Growth Fund getting knocked back.
Whale Song aims to build a life-size sculpture park in Paraparaumu featuring seven humpback whales.
The bronze whales, sitting on top of wind turbine type vertical poles, would range in size from 8.5m and 24m.
Donations and grants are building the bank balance up but it had been hoped an application to the PGF would help turbo-charge the project.
"The application was forwarded to the infrastructure reference group who have sent us an email saying no at this point," said Marco Zeeman who is overseeing the project.
"They've had so many applications on the table that they had to draw the line somewhere.
"I find it a bit strange because we've got so many jobs on the line with this project, and the flow-on from it, that far exceeds a hell of a lot of the other projects that have been funded.
"Maybe our presentation wasn't up to par so we're working on that."
Zeeman hoped governmental help could be forthcoming in the future especially as the project would create a lot of employment.
Despite the setback, fundraising continues.
"One of the key things is we're really looking for other sponsors for the physical bronze whales.
"We've got the Selkirk's on board with Jamie and Ann, and I'm pretty certain we've got one other locked in.
"So there are at least five whales that we would really like to see sponsored.
"It would be exciting if there were more people, who were able to, be part of this and provide a legacy for the coast."
Meanwhile Kapakapanui School, in Waikanae, had taken a keen interest in the project and raised $530 towards it from a bake-off sale.
The school had been studying whales and made various presentations, study posters and models.
And production designer Ra Vincent is creating a virtual reality flyover of the proposed sculpture park and wharenui.
"That's really exciting.
"We've had the drone work done and we're dropping the whales in there and the wharenui.
"We'll put that into our shop in Coastlands.
"Ra has got such credibility with the film Jojo Rabbit and others, and he's also working on Star Wars and Avatar at the moment."