Call to save the walrus

A cartoon walrus has divided the Saddle Hill Community Board.

Board chairman Scott Weatherall said the announcement in the Taieri Times Keep Dunedin Beautiful was repainting two bus shelters on Brighton Rd with new murals had angered two Brighton residents.

They were happy the shelter near the surf life-saving club had been repainted by artist Daniel Mead with new Brighton beach-themed murals selected by the board, such as a painting of the old surf club.

But they wanted the cartoon walrus mural on the bus shelter near Scroggs Hill Rd to remain.

The board requested more community feedback on the walrus on its Facebook page but did not receive any further responses, so decided to proceed with its original plan of letting Big Rock Primary School pupils decide what to paint on the second shelter.

Mr Weatherall said a pupil's sketch of a surfer riding a large wave had been selected as the new mural. It was more suitable than a walrus.

''We don't have walruses in New Zealand,'' Mr Weatherall said.

''Do they even exist any more?''

Board member Cr Andrew Whiley agreed the shelter mural should represent the district's natural habitat and the identity of Brighton.

Board member John Moyle said if the shelter was not in disrepair it should not be repaintedHe said the paint could be used for another community project.

But board member Keith McFadyen said the whale inside the shelter should be painted over with the pupil's mural and the walrus mural kept on the outside.

''Save the walrus,'' he said.

Mr McFadyen's proposal was supported by the other board members.

(Walruses are mainly found around the Arctic Circle in the northern hemisphere.)

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