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Poetry added to bridge as part of upgrade

LISA HONEYBONE
Last updated 07:38 03/08/2012
Poetry

WISE WORDS: Prose by prominent writers has been painted under the harbour bridge.

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Poetry and prose to showcase New Zealand's heritage now graces the legs of the harbour bridge.

Words spoken or written by a prominent Maori chief from Auckland and seven of New Zealand's well known writers have been painted on piers supporting the clip-ons that carry northbound traffic above Stokes Pt.

The words complete the first stage of a $300,000-plus NZTA landscaping project.

The paintings include excerpts of poetry and prose written by Janet Frame, Bruce Mason, Frank Sargeson, A R D Fairburn, Maurice Duggan, Kendrick Smithyman and Robyn Hyde.

There is also a quotation from the Waitakere chief Te Waatarauihi speaking in 1860 of his relationship to the area.

The paintings are known as The Trestle Leg Series with engineers describing the piers supporting both clip-ons at Stokes Point as trestle legs.

NZTA acting state highways manager for Auckland and Northland Steve Mutton says given the importance of the bridge as the critical transport link across the Waitemata Harbour, it is fitting to recognise these eight New Zealanders who themselves have links with the harbour and the North Shore.

Stage 1 has cost around $150,000 and the second stage of the landscaping, also costing around $150,000, will start later this year. Stage 2 includes improved lighting and paving and more recognition of natural and cultural landmarks acknowledging that Stokes Point was previously home to a busy Maori community at Te Onewa Pa.

"It is our wish that all the landscaping will reflect the importance Stokes Point has had and continues to have, to many, many different generations: a place to live, and a place to celebrate a wonderful part of Auckland's natural environment, as well as its cultural and engineering heritage," Mr Mutton says.

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