News, Events and Culture

Highbury smokefree-inspired mural becomes the largest in the city

Thursday February 1 2018

A collaboration between the Highbury community, local organisations and artists and Palmerston North City Council has resulted in the city's largest mural.

Photo shows group of people in front of the large and colourful mural.

The new mural symbolises what smokefree means to the Highbury community.

The mural is approximately 204m2 and features on the side of the Highbury Whānau Centre.

The mural symbolises what smokefree means to the Highbury community and is a symbol of community engagement and pride, championing the importance of a smokefree future. Named ‘He Pou Tuatoru o Highbury’ the artwork aligns with the belief that in New Zealand, tangata whenua (people of this land) have the indisputable right to orietanga (equity in health and equality).

“We wanted to engage with our community in a meaningful way and enable them to contribute to the conversation,” pNCC Community Groups Advisor Pascal Francois says. The question “What does a smokefree world look like?” was posed to the Highbury community. Flowers, birds and fresh air were common themes that came through.

Local artists Gemma Farrell (aka Gembol) and Ephraim Russell used the drawings as a source of inspiration to create the mural. The mural was funded by PNCC Creative Communities Fund, Smokefree Reference Group and Council's Placemaking initiative.

Highbury Whānau Centre is hosting an official blessing and unveiling of the mural on Sunday 11 February.

Programme lineup

  • 10.45am: Blessing of mural by Rangitāne kaumatua Wiremu Te Awe Awe
  • 11am: Unveiling of the plaque followed by speeches from Mayor and representatives of DHB, Highbury Whanau Centre and Te Wakahuia
  • 11.15am to 3pm: Summer Social concert featuring local and national acts, followed by a community touch rugby tournament

The Smokefree Reference Group was created under the Smokefree Outdoor Areas Policy which Council adopted in 2013. The purpose of the reference group is to monitor the implementation of the policy, and its impact on the community. 

The group includes representatives from Council, Horizons, Heart Foundation, MidCentral Public Health and the Cancer Society.