News & Events

Council announces partnership with Mercury for landmark city lighting feature

Thursday July 16 2020

Palmerston North City Council today announced a three-year partnership with Mercury to develop a unique and distinctive LED bridge lighting display at the Central Energy Trust Arena.

Leading from the Arena’s new entrance plaza will be a distinctively-designed eight-metre-wide timber overbridge. Now with Mercury’s support, it will feature a unique LED bridge lighting display with immersive sound and a lighting experience that will extend the length of the bridge, spanning 30m and will be almost a metre in height.

The LED lighting feature includes colourful lights, video and audio capability that is customisable for individual events that will offer not only immersive entertainment and visual appeal for visitors, but also the opportunity for heritage and event storytelling and sharing of information. The entrance plaza design work was undertaken in close consultation with a Rangitāne artist and broad community heritage stakeholders who developed and presented a story of the site’s diverse community and recreational use through time. This creates relevance for the current and future community recreational users. The Arena bridge LED light display will enhance this work and the ability to tell these stories and the sharing of many others.

Mayor Grant Smith says, “This lighting display will provide a memorable welcome and a ‘wow’ factor to one of the region’s most used and loved facilities. The Arena is unique in being located in the heart of our city centre, and this will add a special entertainment experience everyone can enjoy. The Arena Masterplan Steering Group and Council appreciates Mercury’s support in enabling us to include this fantastic feature. It’s the ‘icing on the cake’ that will make the Arena a nationally prestigious stadium offering a unique entertainment experience for visitors.”

PNCC Chief Executive Heather Shotter is also delighted with Mercury’s support. “Partnerships like this, demonstrate further business confidence in the City and region, much like the recent KiwiRail Central North Island Freight Hub announcement. Having a commercial relationship helps us deliver city-shaping projects that benefit everyone. Mercury has invested significantly in the City with their Turitea Wind Farm development, and it is exciting to see their relationship with us extend its reach further into our community with this three-year commitment.”

Sacha Haskell, PNCC General Manager Venues, has been working through the details leading the design of the cultural and heritage storytelling. “The Arena will be characterised by an outstanding entrance plaza. Often, stadiums are full of concrete and steel and the Arena bridge LED light display on a natural timber bridge of this scale, will make the Arena a special place; an attraction for many years into the future; and we welcome this opportunity to tell more of our local stories.”

Mercury’s Chief Executive Vince Hawksworth says: “We’re pleased to be supporting wider community benefits beyond the significant direct investment the Turitea Wind Farm will bring to the city of Palmerston North and the region. We aim to be a positive part of the community and this initiative is a wonderful opportunity for us to solidify our commitment to the area.”