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New Educational and Inspirational Signs at CUE Haven—November 2015

November 27, 2015

Paige Keene and Yan Heere are two talented young graphic artists who have recently graduated from Unitec’s School of Graphic Design and whose inspirational and native bird signs have been on display at CUE Haven since 2014.

This year with the help of a grant from Auckland Council’s Rodney Environmental Education Fund and generous sponsorship from Capitol Sign Services Ltd. in Avondale, we have acquired and installed eight new signs designed by Paige and Yan.

As a follow up to her excellent native bird signs, we asked Yan to come up with some interesting and informative signs for six of the native tree species at CUE Haven.  Paige’s signs feature inspirational and educational messages and she designed two new signs.

Capitol Signs went out of their way to help.  In addition to producing the signs, they also helped us attach the signs to their mounting posts which made the installation process a lot easier.


We spent a bit of time to determine the best place for each sign.  We wanted to make sure that the signs would be seen by as many visitors as possible and also enhance visitors’ experience and give them useful information as well as an opportunity to think and reflect.

During October, students who were doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award gold residential at CUE Haven installed six of the signs and last week students from the Titirangi Rudolf Steiner School installed the remaining two tree signs.

Yan’s tree signs were installed in the field near specimen trees.


The Manuka sign was placed in a grove of Manuka trees near the boardwalk at the edge of the wetlands.



The Kahikatea sign is located in the wetlands in the middle of a stand of juvenile kahikatea trees that have been planted as memorial trees.




Deep in the mature bush on the property on the gully track there is a lot of regenerating vegetation, including different variety of ferns. The Ponga sign is installed by a grove of ponga and other big tree ferns.




The totara sign is located near the top of the property adjacent to a mature totara tree and across from an area we are beginning to develop with some artwork.




We’ve planted a lot of cabbage trees and flaxes from the front gate up to the house and toward the wetlands, so we put the signs for Ti Kouka, Wharakiki and Harakiki in a landscaped area where we hope to put some benches for visitors to relax.







Yan’s bird and tree signs impart a lot of interesting scientific information as well as folklore and greatly add to the experience of native New Zealand trees and birds at CUE Haven.  We have already had student groups out to CUE Haven these past few weeks who have learnt interesting information about native trees from the signs while on their nature walk.


Paige’s signs, rather than impart technical information, invite the visitor to stop and reflect on nature and to enjoy their time in the bush.  One unique feature of all of the Paige’s signs is the inclusion of the “CUE Birdie,” a green bird who appears in each sign and the eye, wing and tail spell C-U-E.  We found a special place for each of the signs.

In one of the signs, the birdie tells the reader to “Simply notice beauty and your life will be simply beautiful.”  And “Tug at a single thing in nature and you will find it connected to everything else.”

We installed that sign in an area where we often have school groups meet for an outdoor classroom as it is close to the stream and a number of other interesting features on the property.  Across the track from the sign are two mature puriri trees that were badly damaged by possum browsing before we started the restoration project.  As a result of the pest control, the trees have thrived and become home to both a natural beehive and several kereru (native wood pigeon).  The kereru have excreted karaka seeds while nesting on the puriri trees and there are now several karaka seedlings growing beneath the puriri trees. The location of this sign is a great place to show that everything in nature is connected.  By saving the trees we have brought back birds who in turn have dispersed seeds to create more trees.




Paige’s other sign has been installed at a point on the stream where two walking tracks join.  There you can see the interface between the wetland plants and the other forest species, hear the stream flowing over a small waterfall and also hear bird life.

On this sign, the CUE birdie is saying “Drink in the pure nectar of this moment” and a big bee encourages the reader to “Be Still” and asks, “What can you hear? What can you see? What can you smell? What can you feel?

It is a great place for visitors to slow down, take a break and get the most out of their time in nature.




We hope Paige’s signs will inspire visitors to appreciate the interconnectedness of things and encourage them to look at and experience nature in a new way.


We‘d like to thank all the students who assisted with installing the signs.

And we’d like to thank Auckland Council for the providing us the REEF grant which assisted with the costs of the signs.


Also a BIG thank you to the wonderful people at Capitol Signs.  Not only have they made a significant contribution to the project by underwriting a lot of the sign costs, they were also a huge help assembling the signs and making it easy for us to install them.  Plus they’re all a fantastic bunch of people to know and work with!!



And finally, our many thanks to artists Yan and Paige for their wonderful creative designs.  A lot of work goes in to designing the signs and getting the information positioned and edited and they were always willing to help get everything just right. Thanks again! Your designs are a great addition to CUE Haven and will enhance visitor experience for years to come. We wish you both much success in your developing careers and we look forward to having more of your work at CUE Haven.


Click to contact Yan Heere


 Click to contact Paige Keene

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Deborah Moss permalink
    December 1, 2015 2:12 pm

    Wonderful and meaningful signs for visitors – I’m sure people will really appreciate them and they look beautiful.

  2. Maurice Cross permalink
    November 27, 2015 4:05 pm

    The signs Yan & Paige have designed look amazing and will no doubt create a lot of interest for visitors – well done & good work to the group who installed them.

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