Monday, 05 August 2019 14:17

Art in Our City: Design a Manhole Cover


Stormwater/Wastewater Manhole Cover Design

*Registrations close 5pm, Friday 23 August 2019*


Creative Bay of Plenty and Tauranga City Council are commissioning a design for stormwater and wastewater manhole covers in our city. The new covers will be installed in new developments or where manhole covers are replaced. The winning design will live on in our city forever, representing a collaboration between our creatives to bring vibrancy to Tauranga. Creative BOP and the council aim to fill the public art gap identified in the city centre. We collectively value the arts as an activity and product, for what it offers society and our well-being; filling our city with art and design that tell our stories gives us a greater sense of identity, civic pride and belonging. We can't wait to see how our creatives can help implement this initiative.


The design will provide an opportunity to express Tauranga’s unique identity.

The artwork may reflect but is not limited to:

  • Our rich history and cultural heritage
  • Legends of Tauranga
  • Tauranga landmarks or symbols

The artist should consider the following:

  • the manhole covers will be installed across Tauranga, representing various iwi
  • the design, or parts of the design, could potentially be used on other asset covers (e.g. gas, electricity, water)
  • the design could potentially be the first in a range of designs on other asset covers
  • the design should be detailed and avoid large smooth spaces that could create a slip hazard

Proposals will be assessed against the council's public art design criteria:

  • Artistic excellence, innovation, and quality
  • Environmental fit
  • Impact
  • Durability of the work and ongoing maintenance
  • Accessibility
  • Safety

Details and further explanation of the criteria can be found here.

Dimensions and material

The design is for a 600mm diameter cast iron manhole cover with two lifting key holes.  Heights of the relief can vary, with a maximum height of 6mm.

Click here for examples of manhole art designs around the world.


Following the expressions of interest, a council appointed panel will shortlist 2 or 3 artists who will be paid $500 each to prepare and present a concept design. The successful artist will then be commissioned to produce the final design.

The panel will evaluate the concept design and choose the successful artist with the aim of completing the design by mid-October 2019. Further details around the timeline will be provided to those who submit expressions of interest.


How to register your expression of interest:

  1. Download the Expression of Interest form here
  2. Email the following information by the closing date: 5pm, Friday 23 August 2019
    1. Your Expression of Interest form, complete with all necessary information:
      • Examples of previous work (photos, descriptions, and all relevant details included)
      • Links to sites where your work can be viewed (your website, social medias, etc.)
    2. Please include in your email a copy of your resume, detailing experience, education and previous projects undertaken
  3. Ensure you email your Expression of Interest form and resume by the closing date: 5pm, Friday 23 August 2019.


If you want to register your interest in this project, or if you have any questions, please contact:

Creative Bay of Plenty: | 07 928 0282

Tauranga City Council | 07 577 7200 ext 7425