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Haka-themed pedestrian crossings light the way in Wellington

A wāhine and a warrior performing a haka are helping Wellington pedestrians cross the road the day before the opening of the Te Matatini kapa haka festival.

The "haka lanterns" have been installed at a traffic light crossing next to Waitangi Park, where the festival will be held.

"The hosting of Te Matatini - the pinnacle event for Māori performing arts – is a proud moment for Wellington, and the haka lanterns reflect the critical role mana whenua and tangata whenua play in our city," says Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.

Male warrior haka lantern. Source: Supplied

"As we have done for many other significant events, Council has commissioned a unique haka pedestrian lantern to be installed in a number of crossings across the city. The vision was to have these installed as a piki mai ki Pōneke – a welcome to Wellington.

"With help from the New Zealand Transport Agency, we have been able to get them up in time for Te Matatini, so thousands of festival-goers can enjoy them," Mayor Lester said.

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    According to the Wellington City Council, the lanterns are being installed indefinitely at seven nearby intersections.

    The council has previously installed alternative pedestrian lights in other parts of the city: Commemorating Kate Sheppard in the Parliament precinct, Carmen on Cuba Street, a soldier at Pukeahu War Memorial and John Plimmer around Customhouse Quay. 

    Wahine haka lantern. Source: Supplied