Substation artwork brightening Te Puke

Friday, May 31, 2024

An electricity substation bordering a popular Te Puke sports ground has been transformed into a work of art.

In an effort to make its substations more asthetically appealing and in keeping with the surrounding community, Powerco has commissioned the artwork on its Atuaroa Ave substation, adjacent to Te Puke Sports and Recreation Club.

Artist Sarah Kolver designed two concepts for the mural, both incorporating local nature. The designs were then circulated around the local community for the neighbours’ preference, before the final design was chosen, Powerco General Manager Customer Stuart Dickson says.

“Powerco is working to adopt concepts from the Living Building Challenge for our new and existing substation buildings. The Challenge aims to transform how we think about every act of design and construction into an opportunity to positively impact the communities they are in and the people who live, work or play there.

“Beauty is one of the challenge concepts, and we’re proud that we can contribute this piece of public art to the local Te Puke community,” Stuart Dickson says.

With her artwork, Sarah Kolver says she wanted to create a design that approached Te Puke’s kiwifruit culture in a different way – capturing the feeling of the town in spring. 

“Merging vibrant abstract colours and subtle koru symbols with elements of the kiwifruit vine, including kiwifruit leaves and blossoms, with hints of kiwifruit growing amongst the vines, this design tells the story of Te Puke bursting into life after winter. I felt the tauhou (silvereye or wax-eye), whose name means ‘new arrival’ and is commonly found around Te Puke, would also be the perfect bird to usher in the new arrival of spring,” she says.

Te Puke Sports and Recreation Club President, Tyler Keenleyside, was consulted about the design before it became reality.

“It’s really nice to see the artwork go in. It’s directly across from our rugby club carpark so it’s going to get a lot of eyes on it as cars come in and out of the carpark during the week for trainings and game days – we have over 200 kids playing for the club, plus three men’s teams and a women’s team.

“It’s also great to see it incorporate a local theme with the kiwifruit design. The asset is in a location near to many orchards and I can see this becoming a hotspot for a kiwifruit selfie for visiting workers and locals alike.”

Powerco collaborates with artists throughout the communities it operates to paint murals on some of its electricity and gas assets. Assets that are suitable for artwork are primarily its brick and concrete kiosk-type buildings which contain either electricity or gas network equipment.

Click here for more about Powerco's artwork on assets programme.

Below, from left: Powerco Sustainability Project Engineer Elizabeth Shires, Artist Sarah Kolver and Powerco Community Relationships Advisor Dot Harris show off the painting on the Te Puke substation.

Three women with their hands in the air in front of a mural on wall depicting kiwifruit vine, flowers and a wax-eye bird.


Latest media releases