The landmark bus shelter, situated opposite Edgewater Resort and Spa, was painted by a group of Nukutere College students who said they wanted to share their art with the community.
The students were first approached by Joseph Tererui, head of Edgewater’s security team, who said the project was requested by the Puaikura council.
“They had been looking for a sponsor to renovate the bus stop because the walls were rotting, but they needed someone to put some money in to repair it,” Tererui said.
“Nooroa Iro asked me if Edgewater would do the job and sponsor it, so I approached my manager and he told me if I could supply the costings, he would consider it.
“I worked out the cost of repairing and painting it would be around $600.
“I then enlisted the help of Timberland, and approached my niece at Nukutere. She gathered up some of her mates and they came down to take a look at the bus shelter.
“When the five of them first saw it they were surprised at how big the job actually was.
“I reassured them that I would help them after I finished work, and that they could just turn up in their down time and paint.
“I was aware they had other important things such as school, studying and sports, so I didn’t put any pressure on them and just told them to take their time.
“They worked as a team and designed the walls, gave me a list of colours they needed and away we went.
“We also planned to extend the seat, as I often see Edgewater guests squeezed together under the shelter.”
Emily Tangi-Jim, Jacqueline Purea, Andria Brown, Teariki Tuteru and Tyrese Williams dedicated their time after school in a bid to liven up Arorangi.
“The process has taken a while, but I really love the painting and the detail on the art work, said Tererui.
“To begin with, these kids were too shy to come and paint in public. I reminded them that it’s not graffiti.
“I told them that it is a way to display their talent, and told them that one day there might be someone who sees the shelter, loves it and approaches them to do some more work.
“Where you start now is just as important.
“That is how people start, by doing something small. It is all about opportunity.”
The students are yet to finish painting the roof, and say they are looking forward to getting back on the job during the school holidays.
Tererui thanks Timberland and Edgewater resort for their generous donations and the artists for using their talents for a good cause.
-Shae Osborne/Melody Cargill