This painted utility box is the work of artist Dan Mills. It is on railway land on the northern exit of Henderson station, between the staff car park of Waitakere Central and the western branch of Railside Avenue (map) – not all that easy to spot. Looking over from Railside Avenue we see a pair of Royal Spoonbills, pictured above. Royal spoonbills (Platalea regia, Kotuku Ngutu Papa) come to the Auckland region during the winter months, at which time I have seen them in various places around the Manukau Harbour or the Firth of Thames, but also at Western Springs, which is almost in the city. They breed mainly in the South Island, notably at Okarito.
The other sides of the box show a Japanese-inspired garden theme, no doubt echoing the Japanese Garden adjacent to the Waitakere Central administration building. This garden was a gift of Waitakere City’s sister city Kakogawa (1997). Originally the garden was established at the old Council premises in Waipareira Avenue, but when Waitakere City Council moved in 2006, the garden moved with it, a peaceful place beside the council building, with formal gardens, seating, and water features.
Visit Dan Mills’ website. He has done more murals and painted boxes in Auckland and other places.
Read more about the Japanese garden.