Mural remembers inquisitive 4-year-old

By Doug Laing

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Hastings artist Dallas Halbert and the Camberley shop-wall mural of "the nephew" Uetaha Ransfield-Wanoa, neighbouring the park where Uetaha died in the mower tragedy over eight months ago. Photo / Warren Buckland
Hastings artist Dallas Halbert and the Camberley shop-wall mural of "the nephew" Uetaha Ransfield-Wanoa, neighbouring the park where Uetaha died in the mower tragedy over eight months ago. Photo / Warren Buckland

The life of 4-year-old mowing tragedy victim Uetaha Ransfield-Wanoa is being remembered in a mural on a shop wall just a few hundred metres from the scene of the tragedy on suburban Hastings sportsfield Kirkpatrick Park.

The mural replaces former street-scene artwork on the park-side wall of the Camberley Dairy, near where the pre-schooler was struck by a council mower while playing at the park on October 8 last year.

Members of his family prepared the wall on Thursday before the mural, initiated by community project group Te Ora Hou and youth of the suburb, was painted by artist Dallas Halbert, projecting an image of the boy on to the wall as he worked on a theme drawn from the computer-generated minion characters of the Despicable Me movies.

"There are hundreds of characters among the minions," Mr Halbert said. "We all recognised them in the nephew. But that's kids in general, trying things out. Inquisitive. That was the nephew. He was a clever boy."

Te Ora Hou director Stirling Halbert said the idea of a mural came from Camberley youth Xavier Moa as young people of the area were challenged to come up with something positive out of what had happened.

"The youth wanted to make sure it was something children-friendly, but also wanted to do something which might help stop tagging around here," he said.

The driver of the tractor-mower was last week sentenced to home detention and community work, disqualified from driving and ordered to pay reparation to the boy's family, while the Hastings District Council has pleaded not guilty to a Health and Safety in Employment Act charge, due in court next in September.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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