Source: Far North District Council
A giant mural featuring an airbrushed tūī and kohekohe berries has transformed an electric vehicle charging station in Kaikohe thanks to renowned urban artists Charles and Janine Williams.
The mural has created a vibrant backdrop for electric vehicle (EV) drivers recharging at the ChargeNet station, one of several forming Te Tai Tokerau Crimson Coast EV Highway.
The Crimson Coast EV Highway is a network of charging stations being installed 50km to 60km apart around the Far North that will make it possible for all EVs to drive to Cape Reinga and back, with enough charge to spare to explore side roads.
Project manager for ChargeNet Craig Salmon says, “ChargeNet has followed progress on the mural and is absolutely stoked with the result. We believe it will not only attract EV owners, but a much wider range of tourists to the town.”
The artists, Charles (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngapuhi) and Janine Williams (Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara), have painted murals around the country and the world, and have represented New Zealand at several international arts events.
They were assisted by local volunteers, who prepared the wall and applied the dramatic base coats. Paints, rollers, trays and cleaner were supplied by Resene Colour Shop Kaikohe and Waipapa, and scaffolding was also donated. Local design and architecture studio, Ākau, organised the volunteers and also arranged lessons in street art for rangatahi with the artists.
The bland block wall that once dominated the charging station now features a tūī, maunga and kohekohe fruit on a massive scale. The images tell the story of Kaikohe, which was named after the kohekohe fruit and that legend says sustained people in times of hardship. The diamond background represents the birds-eye view of the maunga (Tokareireia or Kaikohe Hill).
The mural was partly funded by ChargeNet and Far North District Council, and REV-UP, the Regional-Electric-Vehicle-Utility-Project, has set up a Give-A-Little campaign to fund the remaining $3000. Go to www.givealittle.co.nz and search for Kaikohe Mural.
Te Tai Tokerau Crimson Coast EV Highway is a partnership between Far North District Council, Northland Regional Council, Top Energy, ChargeNet and the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund administered by EECA.