An unsanctioned art protest against traffic congestion and parking wardens has been embraced as a suburban curio.
Photographer Alan Knowles installed the exhibition, entitled Rest Area #6265, at a bus shelter in Miramar as an "outside the Fringe" piece during the Fringe Festival in February. It featured five pictures of rest areas in scenic spots around New Zealand.
It was meant to come down when the Fringe ended on March 2, but residents took such a shine to the work that it has stayed in place more than a month longer than intended.
Knowles said he was really surprised by the reaction - including 22 pages of comments "mostly supportive and insisting I don't take it down", written in a notebook left in the shelter on the No 24 Miramar Heights bus route.
An off-the-cuff comment turned into a neighbourhood sausage sizzle after a message writer suggested the "rest area" needed a barbecue and Knowles sent out the call to neighbours.
Carol Glover hosted about 50 locals at the barbecue on her front lawn opposite the bus stop, and said the exhibit had brought the community together, connecting people who might not otherwise have met.
The shelter has become a place of reflection for passers-by, who pore over the message book or simply sit and ponder.
It has also grown into an offbeat tourist draw, with foreign visitors trekking from the city to catch a glimpse. "It's embraced the community spirit and brought a lot of people together."
And I bet someone in the US of A embraces this lovely idea by emulating it in their home town...