Amay, nine, wins ‘Design a Bus Back’ competition

12 Dec 2023, 10:06 AM

A nine-year-old's artwork highlighting the environmental benefits of public transport is now gracing the back of one of the buses in Whangārei CityLink fleet.

Amay Dignon from Hurupaki School was awarded the top prize from hundreds of entries in a ‘Design a Bus Back’ competition for tamariki from primary schools across Whangārei in October, impressing judges with her creative use of colour and clear messaging.

CityLink Whangārei ran the contest to both raise awareness of its bus service and the environmental benefits of using public transport.

Amy’s prize was $100 in Prezzy vouchers and included her design being recreated on the back of a CityLink bus, which can now be seen on Whangārei streets.

“I was proud of myself; it is incredible how I can accomplish this,” she says. “I think everyone should go on the bus, even my bus!”

Northland Regional Councillor Joe Carr, chair of the Regional Transport Committee (RTC), was a member of the judging panel selecting the winners and says it was wonderful seeing so many submissions from young people across Whangārei.

“They have shown a great understanding of how public transport can improve environmental outcomes.” “I hope that this competition encourages our tamariki to continue taking the bus for years to come.”

Councillor Carr says students were asked for their designs to reflect on the importance of catching the bus and how it can benefit the environment.

Entries were submitted online via the CityLink website and through Whangārei Enviroschools - Whangārei Primary, Manaia View School, Morningside Primary, Hora Hora School, and Hurupaki School.

Hundreds of submissions were received, and Cr Carr says the judging panel – which included fellow regional councillor and RTC Deputy Chair John Blackwell – had a challenging task in selecting an overall winner from the entries.

As well as Amay’s entry, two other entries by James Gibbs, seven, from Onerahi Primary School, and by Alexis Cossey,10, from Morningside Primary were awarded Highly Commended by the judges. James’ design was praised for its imaginative interpretation of the sea, and Alexis’ for the way in which it incorporates nature with transport.

Councillor Carr says he was impressed with creative talents of those who submitted designs.

“We saw such a diverse and colourful variety of submissions. I congratulate all the tamariki involved for their artistry and enthusiasm.”

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Girl in front of bus back.

Nine-year-old Amay Dignon and her winning bus back design.