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Winning WMD Billboard Explodes Onto Auckland CBD

Winning “Weapons of Mass Destruction” Billboard Explodes Onto Auckland CBD

In its third year of its annual billboard competition, The Coconut Free Press Charitable Trust is once again combining an important political message with a splash of colour to Auckland streets with its latest billboard on the topical theme of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The winning artist’s design has been erected at a site at 97 Cook St to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This year’s competition, on the two themes of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Over-Fishing in the Pacific, had the judges overwhelmed by the conceptual quality of the entrants’ designs. It was run in collaboration with schools and colleges, and was also open to the general public.

The winner of this year’s competition for his “We’re No.1!” design on the theme of Weapons of Mass Destruction is Matthew Donaldson, an independent visual artist from Auckland. “On this, the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima's bombing, my grief for all of those murdered and yet to be murdered by America's weapons - of mass destruction or otherwise - overwhelms me” said Matt.

Crystal Yau from Whitcliffe College of Art won second prize in this category for her dramatic piece “Warning”. Winners of the Over-Fishing in the Pacific category will be announced next month. First prize winners each receive $500.00 and second prize winners $250.00.

Martini Gotje of the Coconut Free Press, one of the competition’s organizers, said the winning piece reinforced Nuclear Free New Zealand as a shining light in a world where weapons of mass destruction are spreading at a terrifying pace. “We cannot allow this to continue; we have a moral obligation to stop this road to destruction. We cannot reinvent the bomb, but we can dismantle the current 30 odd thousand nuclear weapons which are pointed at all of us, and instead embrace clean energy instead of nuclear. Nuclear weapons cannot exist without nuclear power”, said Martini.

Creative New Zealand and the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Peace and Disarmament Education Trust (PADET) sponsored the competition, which is an annual event, enabling local art to be brought to the community.

Coconut Free Press aims to disseminate information, ideas and views on the impact of modern society on life in the South Pacific region, using a multidisciplinary approach, and through a variety of media.

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