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Hastings District Council launches lightbox photo competition

Lightboxes Civic Square

Hastings’ city centre will soon come alive with large-scale photos taken by local residents, thanks to a competition launched by Hastings District Council this weekend.

The competition encourages locals to take high resolution photos of what they love about Hastings and submit them on council’s website, where 24 will be selected and printed onto panels for six solar-powered lightboxes, situated in Civic Square, the city centre mall, and outside Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre.

Hastings District Council Arts & Culture Manager Megan Peacock-Coyle says the lightboxes, which are more than 2m tall and were installed after lockdown as part of the Arts, Culture & Events Recovery Plan, are a way to bring more art and intrigue into the city.

“As a team, the arts and culture staff within council are all really proud of Hastings and we know we’re not alone. So the idea of this competition grew out of that local pride - we want to use these lightboxes to share with each other what we love about Hastings. We want you to capture what Hastings-Heretaunga means to you and share it with your community.”

She says there’s no limit to subject matter, only that photos must be at least 300 dpi or 5MB in size. The competition is open to all ages, and the final selection will aim to include a diverse range of ages, people, cultures, and locations, so it’s a true reflection of Hastings District. Each photographer’s name will be printed on their panel and the selection criteria are based on the Toi-Tū Hawke’s Bay strategic framework.

“We really want to see people’s creativity in action,” Ms Peacock-Coyle says. “You don’t have to be a professional photographer, as we believe everyone has innate artistic ability - every single one of us can snap a photo of something or someone local that we love. That’s really what we’re after.”

You must own your photograph and have the permission of anyone in it to publish it on the lightboxes. Portrait orientation is preferable as that is the shape of the lightbox panels. Entries close on June 13, with the new panels installed soon after.

“We want photos which express the identity of our district, its people and places. This is an opportunity to share your culture and diversity, and to connect with your community on a large scale. It’s a chance for your creativity to enhance the city centre experience for everyone who visits here.”

To submit your photo to be considered for the arts and culture lightboxes, go to

3 June 2021

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