Nelson's 'ugly' Civic Centre Clock getting repairs but locals want more than just a tune-up

A Nelson monument often criticised for its appearance is undergoing some timely repairs. 

The Civic Centre Clock is being dismantled to ensure it keeps ticking - but some locals are hoping it gets more than just a tune-up.

The clock has kept time in the city, on and off, since the early 1900s - but it's time for a health check.

John Rodgers took over the clock's restoration from his late father Henry, who modified and installed it in Civic House in 1982.

"The time's pretty well spot-on, considering all the moving parts and everything that's here - that's quite an achievement I think," Rodgers said.

He says some parts of the clock have not been touched for 38 years.

"There's some bits in here that I know that I'm going to have to work on. It'll just be making them better or making them last longer," he explained.

And he's one of few people who knows the mechanics of a clock like this one - described as a dying art.

Nelson Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar says the clock is an indispensable part of the city's history and cityscape.

"Aesthetically whether you love it or hate it, the chimes are like any routine or tradition - we actually do pause for a second here when we hear the chimes," she told Newshub.

But locals chiming in on Tuesday were hopeful it'd get more than just a tune-up. 

"I like the clock but I think the poles kind of look like scaffolding, so I always thought it was an unfinished building," one person said.

"You could make it like an art work and make it a bit of a feature for the town. Get some local artists in to do something," another suggested.

But the only change for now will be that time will stand still, and the bells will remain silent for the next two weeks.