Waikato News - - NEWS -

“There are two things that jump to mind when I think of the Perry Bridge — the colour­ful green and blue flax pat­tern the length of the deck and the stun­ning mo­saics on the ap­proaches,” Brian Perry Char­i­ta­ble Trust gen­eral man­ager Jen­nifer Palmer says.

The mo­saics were the brain­child of Si­mon Perry and were brought to life through lo­cal school chil­dren’s de­signs.

“These sit per­fectly on the path and tell im­por­tant and rel­e­vant sto­ries about the his­tory of the river and the com­mu­nity’s con­nec­tion to it,” Ms Palmer says

Stu­dents from Nga¯ ru­awa¯ hia High School and Horotiu Pri­mary School, guided by Nga¯ ru­awa¯ hia artist Tracy Huirama-Os­borne, spent sev­eral months de­vel­op­ing the art­work.

Both schools ex­plored the his­tory and sig­nif­i­cance of the Waikato River, with the stu­dents ob­serv­ing the nat­u­ral forms they wanted to in­clude in their de­signs.

Nga¯ ru­awa¯ hia High School’s fi­nal de­sign in­cluded the kowhai­whai pat­tern from the school’s wharenui.

Stu­dents at Horotiu school voted for their favourite de­sign, with Reese Daniel-Hoani’s draw­ing of the river cur­rent and harakeke (flax) con­firmed as the winner.

Ms Palmer said the project has been a true com­mu­nity col­lab­o­ra­tion and will add to the ex­pe­ri­ence of us­ing the bridge

“The mo­saics are a won­der­ful way for the stu­dents to demon­strate their con­nec­tion to, and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of, their awa.”

Plenty of colour in these mo­saics.

Pho­tos / Sup­plied

The mo­saics made by lo­cal school stu­dents.

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