Talking tile pole close to fruition
Almost 500 sets of hands picked up a paintbrush last year to tell a story through art work.
The Talking Pole Trust held an 11-day Tile Art Symposium in October last year for a new talking pole.
And now it is almost time to bring it out of hiding.
Talking pole trustee Mariata Couch said hundreds of people turned up and over 500 tiles were produced.
It was more than their goal of 220 tiles but each one is just as special to make up the 4-metre tall pole.
Apart from people who had made an extra tile, they will all be on the pole.
‘‘We won’t turn away anyone’s tile,’’ she said.
The trust is waiting in anticipation for the final stages to be completed.
Though it was produced by the Trust, Couch said the responsibility of installation and maintenance lies with the South Waikato District Council.
‘‘ It’s not far off . . . We are waiting on council for the unveiling date,’’she said.
The pole will be erected at the South Waikato Events Centre and Couch said it is the first of its kind.
‘‘It was about doing something that would then live on . . . families would come in together and they were sharing that time,’’ she said.
Though there were a fair few who were not ‘‘artists’’ she said that did not matter.
Some of the most basic tiles tell a touching story for Couch.
‘‘A year later and I can still remember those tiles.
‘‘These two boys came in with their Nana and they were moving away, all Nana could say is ‘this is really important, the boys are going and they are never coming back’,’’ she said.
The result was a hand print, the famous Waikato colours and the words ‘‘Tokoroa, 4eva home’’.
Throughout the event it seemed as if every man and his dog turned up to join in.
Some did not even live in the South Waikato but they all had their connections.
Trustee John Paki was also part of the process and could relate to Couch’s emotions.
‘‘Their whanau are here and this is where their origins are.’’ You can look at every single tile and recite their whakapapa.’’
Alongside the trust members, residents jumped on board to help including builder Graham Hickford and 11 sponsors from the community donated the majority of the materials.
Community story: Mariata Couch is waiting in anticipation until model of the tile talking pole is made into reality.