Lighting up Opotiki for Christmas

A light waka created by local artist Jamie Boynton will replace the damaged lighting. Photo: Jamie Boynton/Facebook

It goes without saying ex-Cyclone Cook caused a lot of damage when it hit the Eastern Bay of Plenty in April this year.

One of the more unusual casualties was Opotiki's Christmas lights in the centre of town.

In light of the damages its local council has arranged to replace the old lights with a unique piece of Opotiki art – a spectacular light waka by artist Jamie Boynton.

Opotiki Deputy Mayor Lyn Riesterer says she is thrilled with the display.

“Our poor old Christmas tree on the corner of Church and Elliot Streets was destroyed by Cook earlier this year.

“The Eastern Bay Energy Trust have supported us and this display for more than 15 years so it is a sad end of an era for the tree.

“But the silver lining is that it provides us with an opportunity to replace it with something uniquely Opotiki.

“Jamie Boynton's light waka is stunning. We will be very fortunate to have on display a great piece of public art we can all enjoy this Christmas and beyond.

“Think of it as an Eastern Bay Christmas sleigh – no snow required!” says Lyn.

The Light Waka was commissioned by Wellington's LUX Light Festival for display on the Wellington waterfront, so it is well-designed to deal with outdoor weather conditions.

The feature is lit with LED lighting, which can be changed to display different cycles for special occasions such as Christmas.

Council is working with the artist to get the lights up in early December to enjoy through the Christmas period.



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Christmas lilies. Photo: Graham Woodhead.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz