New beachfront Safeswim signage in Point England adds a local twist to the electronic noticeboard.
Visitors to the popular Glen Innes sports, picnic and beach area, Point England, may have noticed that there is a new Safeswim sign up along the path overlooking the beach. It is a community art project intertwined with the important safety signage.
Safeswim provides up-to-date information on beach conditions at 120 swimming spots across Tāmaki Makaurau, to help keep you and your whānau safe.
Elements like water quality, risk of illness, tides, surf lifesaving services and water conditions are made available via the safeswim.org.nz website, onside static signs and electronic signage - allowing users to make informed decisions on where and when to swim
There are 12 electronic signs currently up throughout the Auckland region.
A standard electronic Safeswim sign was installed at Point England beach in 2020 but was vandalised irreparably and had to be removed.
“This is an incredibly popular local beach,” explains Maria Meredith, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board chairperson, “and so when the chance came about to help make a sign replacement happen, the board was keen to find the additional funding.”
The concept of intertwining local art elements into the signage design was raised and well-received and local artist Gary Silipa was approached to help find a way to connect the community to the sign through art and storytelling.
“Some of my earliest memories are from being at Point England beach with my family and friends. Growing up I don’t remember many people swimming there because we thought it was polluted,” explains Silipa.
“We had no system or trusted way to find out whether it was safe to swim or not, and like many New Zealand beaches, water quality comes and goes, especially after heavy rain.
"Being part of this project has helped me to learn that Auckland Council’s Safeswim system provides up-to-date safety information for lots of Auckland beaches, with signs located right where they’re needed."
Over the past few months, we arranged for hundreds of rocks to be painted by members of our community, which we then used to form the foundation of the new Safeswim sign for Pt England. The Glen Innes community is built on the people who live here, and this design recognises our individuality as well as celebrates our togetherness.”
For up-to-date information on swimming conditions at your local beach visit safeswim.org.nz or keep an eye out for onsite signage.