Houses in the small Waikato town of Meremere now have a very distinguishing feature – house numbers!
House numbers are important to Meremere as the township doesn’t have letterboxes. This means emergency services rely on house numbers for location, but around half of the homes don’t have house numbers, or at least not ones that are easy to see or read.
Toi Ako Artspace from nearby Te Kauwhata have led the Meremere Street Number Project in partnership with Meremere local artist Melysa Tapiata over the past two months. The project was funded by a donation from Waikato District Council’s Te Kauwhata Community Committee. Local councillor Jan Sedgwick commends the project, and thinks it is a fabulous example of communities working together. “Te Kauwhata has a wealth of art experience through Toi Ako, which facilitated these workshops with local Meremere leaders”, she said.
Meremere residents were able to attend one of six offered workshops, where they could create their own painted or mosaic street number, or empower another community member to create one on their behalf. Alternatively, residents were able to order a mosaic kit and design their own number at home. Almost 100 residents participated in some way, producing over 80 colourful, creative and inspiring home numbers for the village.
Local Meremere member and Postie, Janice Harman said that the new house numbers give people’s homes a form of identity. “The project not only showcases the creative flair of our community, but it also brings us together and allows for some banter and connectivity to those you may not know as well, or haven’t seen for some time”, said Harman. Some participants were so captivated by the mosaic process that they have purchased their own nippers and plan to continue the hobby at their leisure.
The workshops and the resulting brand-new house numbers are one of Waikato District Council’s Blueprint* wins. Councillor Sedgwick endorsed the project and is excited that it has enthused the Meremere community to look at other art and beautification projects.
“It’s a great example of a little village that could – and did”, said Councillor Sedgwick.
*The Waikato District Blueprint is a community planning document that looks to the future for our towns and rural communities and sets out their priorities. For more see www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/blueprints
For more information, please contact:
Communications and Engagement Advisor
Waikato District Council