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Manukau’s Largest Mural Completed

13 February 2001


The largest mural ever to be commissioned in Manukau City will be completed at an official ceremony on Thursday 15 February with the help of community leaders and school representatives.

Auckland’s electricity lines company, VECTOR, has been partnering with Manukau City Council and the Keep Manukau Beautiful campaign to brighten up their utilities in Manukau – often targets for tagging.

The 3m x 60m mural on VECTOR’s Mangere central zone substation in Canning Crescent will enhance the shopping centre and reduce tagging something Tea Ropati, Keep Manukau Beautiful co-ordinator, says is the ongoing aim of many community groups based in the area.

“There’s an understanding or code of conduct among taggers that it’s not ok to tag on murals because they’re someone else’s piece of art. Murals are becoming a great deterrent for tagging on buildings,” Mr Ropati says.

Native Tarata trees will also be planted around the mural by student representatives from schools in Mangere. Tea Ropati says the Tarata has a historical connection to the area and school reps will each be given a tree to take back to their respective schools.

“The bark from Tarata trees was traditionally used to make welcome mats in homes because of the barks sweet fragrance. Metaphorically we want people to feel welcome when they pass through Mangere and this is done when are surroundings are made beautiful.

“It’s a real beautification project. People can now sit in the park opposite the substation and relax in enjoyable surroundings. Think about it, would you rather look at a plain brown building, a tagged building or a building with a beautiful mural on it surrounded with native Tarata trees?” says Mr Ropati.

The mural has been designed and painted by ex-taggers turned graffiti artists Dean Purcell and Jayson Mokotupu. Both artists are involved in youth mentoring for youths at risk.

VECTOR and Manukau City Council shared costs on the project. VECTOR’s Area Manager, Stephen Collett, says taking care of the environment is very important to VECTOR and he says the company is proud to have been associated with the project.

“Sub stations by their very nature are functional buildings, but there’s no reason why they can’t be aesthetically pleasing as well”, says Mr Collett.

He says the most important feature of the project was that Tea Ropati, VECTOR and the Manukau City Council had a combined vision and worked with the community to realise that vision.


Gabrielle Hinton
Media Liaison Support Officer
Ph: 09 2628900 x 8650
Fax: 09 2625759

Sandy Hodge
Communications Adviser VECTOR
Ph: 09 978 7579
Mobile: 025 879 178

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