The votes are in and the verdict is out on Whangarei’s favourite t-shirt design.
After a fierce voting battle that took place on Facebook, in local retail stores and via text through the Northern Advocate, Tuhulu ‘Isileli-Fo’ou has been named the winning designer of the new range of Whangarei: Love it Here! t-shirts.
Tuhulu’s design is entitled ‘The Legend’ and features two Karearea (Sparrow Hawks). The Karearea plays a pivotal role in the story of Reipae and Reitu - two daughters of a Waikato chief who fall in love with the northern Chief Ueoneone.
According to the legend, they long for him until one day a Karearea carries the rivalling sisters north. Reipae climbs off at Onerahi and marries Tahuhu-Potiki, while Reitu goes on to marry Ueoneone. United in the end, Reipae and Reitu bring two tribes together on the shores of Whangarei.
"The Karearea is what connected Reipae and Reitu with Chief Ueoneone, it’s what connected Waikato with Whangarei and it’s what connected Whangarei with home, and with me. So my design is an acknowledgement to the Karearea for that," says Tuhulu.
The aim of Tuhulu’s design was to attract a wide audience to pass on the knowledge of the beginning of Whangarei - the place we all call home.
Chloe Alderton took second place with her Pohutukawa design, inspired by her vision of Whangarei as the city of trees, and symbolising the roots that tie us to home no matter where we go in life.
A tough battle was had for third place, with the deciding votes calling a tie between ‘Jandals’ by Sara King, and ‘The Big Decision’ by Scott Simpson. This result means that four shirts will go into production, adding freshness and variety to the existing Love it Here! range.
The winning shirts were put through a tough selection process - first being chosen as a ‘top 10’ design from over 250 entries before going to a public vote, which ultimately determined the winners.
As the top designer, Tuhulu will receive an Apple iPad, sponsored by 100% Barrell’s, Chloe will receive a ‘Discover Scuba’ package from Dive! Tutukaka and Sara and Scott will each receive a $50 voucher, donated by Paper Plus.
The new designs will be available for purchase prior to Christmas (towards the end of November) at Tuatara, Inferno, Megasurf, Paper Plus, Dive! Tutukaka, Kiwi North, the Whangarei i-SITE Visitor Centre or Te Manawa The Hub at the Town Basin.