Māori New Year is heralded on the first sighting of the Matariki star cluster (Pleiades). Pictured is the lighting design for Matariki (Māori New Year) 2018. This design features the stories of the manaaki iwi (hosts) Te Kawerau a Maki. It tells the story of the arrival of their waka in Auckland from the south, as well as more recent stories which unfolded through the lights as you walked along the path.
Lion lighting designers installed three hundred LED light poles on the path which are controlled by sensors to create this interactive light sculpture. The poles respond to users’ movements.
Arekatera ‘Katz’ Maihi, in consultation with Tāmaki Mana Whenua (Auckland tribal people with historic and territorial rights), worked in collaboration with the architects’ team to give a distinct personality to Te Ara I Whiti. This transformed a redundant section of motorway into a visually exciting, useful, and safe cyclepath and walkway.
Maihi, supported by Mata Tamaariki, Ngāpuhi, created this 27-meter-long artwork coated with pink resin. The pink represents the heartwood of a freshly cut totara tree. His koru design, pictured above, is at the Union Street (northern end) of the cycleway, and other koru designs have been engraved on black vertical aluminium plates at the western edge of the cycleway.
Hine is a large-scale (three storey) mural, spray painted onto the wall of an apartment block. The woman represented, known only as Tania, is a friend of the artist Owen Dippie. Her image embodies mana wāhine the strength and power of women. A traditional moko kauae (sacred female facial tattoo) adorns her face.
Dippie has an intrinsic affinity for Māoritanga (Māori culture and beliefs) and a personal passion for tā moko (Māori cultural tattoos), along with a keen interest in pop culture imagery. He created this work during the Karanghape Road All Fresco Street Art Festival in 2015, as a gift to the people of Auckland.
The mural’s visibility from the Auckland southern motorway provides a warm greeting to commuters and visitors to the city.
Janet Lilo’s pop-art banana light poles decorate Karangahape (K) Road’s overbridge. The three poles are constructed of clear perspex panels with decorated vinyl sheets applied to the inside. They are LED lit from within and have neon text on the exterior.
Lilo has used the banana motif and neon elements to illustrate K Road’s melting pot of history, cultural heritage, and community diversity. The bright use of colours makes this work happy and uplifting. Inspiration for the name of the work came from the Crowded House song of the same title.
The three unique messages, one on each pole; ‘don’t let them win’, ‘wait for me’ and ‘you make me better’ are whakakoia (positive affirmations) for visitors to Karangahape Road.
The Karangahape Road Enhancements Project included upgrading the overbridge with designs representing Mana Whenua, drawing on oral Māori history of place and purpose. The bridge features tukutuku patterns woven in steel wire, pāua shell reimagined in the glowing glass bus shelters and silver discs in the paving. The discs symbolise the shell paths used by pre-European Māori along this historic ridgeline. Moonlight reflected on the shells enabled Māori to see the ancient pathway at night and the discs will reflect the changing colours of the new street lighting.
On the walls of the bridge are the original perforated metal panels, repurposed as artworks. Lead artist, Tessa Harris, and her sons, Kian and Kalani, Monica Brooks, and students for the Kahurangi Unit at Auckland Girls Grammar School have taken a utilitarian piece of infrastructure and woven into it, a beautiful contemporary tukutuku panel pattern.