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Source: Auckland Council

A new pedestrian bridge which doubles as a piece of public art is set to be opened on Thursday in Ōtara.

Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chair Lotu Fuli says the bridge in Ōtara Creek Reseve is “visually impressive.”

“A big focus for us is ensuring our parks and community facilities are functional yet beautiful for our community to be active and socialise so it’s really special to have the beautiful work of Henriata Nicholas and Marc Lenton incorporated into the bridge,” she says.

For Auckland Council’s Public Art Manager Emily Trent, working with the artists was a rewarding experience.

“We wanted to create something distinctive that reflects the beauty and diversity of Ōtara. For us it is about helping build a sense of pride in the community. This has been a great project to be involved in and it shows that art and infrastructure work well together.”

Henriata and Marc also drew inspiration from the native birds in the area. The vertical elements on the bridge are stylised manu (birds) with their pronounced stature identifying them as kaitiaki (custodian, guardian) of bridge users.

Lotu will cut the ribbon in the official opening ceremony on Thursday afternoon and says the bridge will provide locals with the ability to be more active and connect to two key recently upgraded pathways.

“By upgrading the paths and now the bridge, we hope to see a lot more people out and about using them.”