MORE WEIRD KIWI SIGHTS

New Zealander’s have generally had a rather eccentric approach to things from art to films and fashion, not to mention inventions from water bikes and cars to bungy jumping, zorbing and wearable art creations. It is therefore no surprise to discover various public displays around the country also offer glimpses into the offbeat creativity of the kiwi mind.

TALKING POLES

Located close to the North Island’s top tourist attractions of Taupo, Waitomo and Rotorua, the bland saw milling town of Tokoroa, with a declining population of currently 13,000 had nothing to offer the tourists who passed it by. To change this situation, a group of progressive locals put their heads together to come up with a plan. At a public meeting in 1997 there was very positive support for the idea of a collection of sculptured poles representing Tokoroa’s dominant Maori and Pacific Island cultures. It was hoped the creation of a meaningful presentation of these cultures would attract tourists as well as inspire and generate community pride and lead to a sustainable niche industry based on ‘Talking Poles’. read more