Rangi Williams wants to paint the town for the Rugby World Cup in September.
And next week the Avondale resident finds out if he will get that chance.
The 37-year-old is one of five finalists for the nationwide ANZ Welcome the World competition. One idea will be used to welcome visitors during the world cup.
The finalists were chosen from more than 6000 entries. A group of judges combined with online voting by the public will decide the winner.
Mr Williams' idea is titled Paint the Town. He wants to distribute 20 giant canvases around New Zealand and get communities to paint, draw and weave their own welcome messages.
The artworks would then be taken around the country during the tournament.
The graphic designer, who works in Maori academic support at Unitec, says the idea stemmed from the Olympic Games in Sydney. He was inspired while doing missionary work in Australia.
"I saw how the organisers were putting these murals along the highways coming into Sydney," he says.
"It was nice to come into a city and see all this colour."
He tinkered with the idea for several years and was on the verge of making it a reality with the Wellington City Council last year.
"But I had to move up to Auckland for my new job and there was no one down there to continue the project.
"So when this Welcome the World competition came along it was a perfect opportunity."
He says family members are helping him get votes across the country.
"My wife has always known that I like to have big ideas and the rest of my family are supporting me as well by getting word around to vote for it online."
Winning means a $25,000 cash prize and tickets to the Rugby World Cup final.
"If I do win that money will be used as a deposit for a house.
"That is my family's big dream."
Mr Williams wants a range of groups and clubs to contribute to the idea.
"One person already mentioned to me that we should give the mural away to visitors in some form, like a postcard.
"If it wins it will be a collective effort not just mine," he says.The part-time artist has some suggestions for those short on creative ideas for the giant piece of artwork.
"With New Zealand being multicultural I can see people, lots of colour, interaction, sports – basically a large party."
Go online to www.welcometheworld.co.nz to vote before June 22.
- Western Leader
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