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New design for ‘Welcome to Waikanae’ state highway signs
March 2016
Waikanae Community Board Chair Eric Gregory and designer Wes Nielsen with the winning design.

The winning design for new 'Welcome to Waikanae' signs, to be placed on SH1, has been announced.

Wes Nielsen from Paraparaumu Beach won the competition with his wooden design which incorporates features of Waikanae and the wider Kapiti District.

The shorter posts at the front reflect the land sloping down to Waikanae River, while the taller rear posts represent the silhouette of Kapiti Island.

"I liked the idea of something that could deliver the 'Welcome' message in a format that was more than just another roadside sign and something that bordered on sculptural," Mr Nielsen says.

"Given I'm also a ratepayer myself, I was only really interested in developing a concept that could be constructed simply and with minimal cost. The design uses really simple materials and doesn't require much in the way of fabrication or landscaping. I'm hoping it can stand alone as a point of interest to the average motorist, but that it will also have some local significance to those who want to look at it more carefully."

Judging of the 117 designs entered took place last Wednesday by Waikanae Community Board chair Eric Gregory, other board members, Mayor Ross Church, Waikanae Ward Councillor Michael Scott, Sue Lusk of Destination Waikanae and Ann-Maree Ellison of Te Atiawa Town Centres Working Group.

"We thought the winning design really encapsulated the heart of Waikanae and will look fantastic on the roadside coming into the town," Mr Gregory says.

"There were a lot of wonderful designs, many from school children, and it was heartening to have such a great response."

Work on where to next is underway.

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