Te Aro Park to Get an Upgrade Over Winter

23 June 2011

Work on a new mural to decorate the public toilets and an upgrade of Te Aro Park's triangular seating is set to begin in the next few weeks.

People shouldn't be too affected by the seating upgrade unless they're accustomed to eating their lunch on Te Aro Park - sections of which will be cordoned off as work is done on that particular area.

Meanwhile, well-known artist Diane Prince is about to start a new artwork on the walls of the public toilets in the park. The existing mural, there since 2006, is now being painted out to prepare for the new mural.

It turns out Diane has a close tie with the artist who created Te Aro Park in the late 1980s - Shona Rapira Davies. They have collaborated over the last 10 years or so through their ongoing project Native Bird Productions.

The Council's Arts and Culture Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, says it's important to preserve Shona Rapira Davies' design.

"Would you believe - it's more than 20 years since the park was redesigned by Shona. It's a great tribute to the area, and I'm particularly pleased to learn that someone she works closely with is now working on the corresponding mural," says Cr Ahipene-Mercer.

Commissioned by the City Council, Diane is working with staff from Otaki's Te Wanaanga O Raukawa on the mural, which explores the early occupation of the land that is now Te Aro Park.

As for the park's triangular seating - the wooden slats are ageing and need to be removed. These will be replaced with granite. The granite will be hardier, easier to clean and stand up to the hard use the park gets. The work is expected to cost around $25,000.

Work on the seats is to start on Monday 4 July and is expected to take four weeks. Depending on weather - the work could carry on into August.