Ah, local elections - when billboards showing smiling politicians with make-a-difference-type slogans suddenly pop up all over the place.

Among this year's throng of custom-made signs is at least one candidate showing some creative and do-it-yourself flair.

Dillon Tooth, running for the Waitākere Ward in West Auckland, has put up about 20 unique signs made from old fence posts and pallets donated by locals.

The 26-year-old has also had some help from wife Esther Tooth, who has designed and painted each billboard by hand.


"I thought: 'Oh, I can just make my signs out of pallets'. I went on all the community pages and just asked people if they had any pallets.

"Heaps of people were really supportive. Everybody was like: 'Yeah, we've got pallets for you - good on you for doing it this way',: he said.

"I could've gone to the industrial areas and got pallets, but I really wanted to get out there and talk to the community.

"It was a way to kind of get my name out there on social media without waving my flag too much - just asking for help."

Tooth, who is an arborist, also got free materials from tree stakes that otherwise would have gone through a wood chipper.

A man who spotted him taking down a tree asked if he could also take down his fence - providing more materials to use on his signs.

Each billboard is designed specifically to reflect the area it is in - an idea Esther Tooth came up with.

Dillon Tooth doing the mahi. Photo / Supplied
Dillon Tooth doing the mahi. Photo / Supplied

For example, the one in Te Atatū Peninsula is painted showing the view of the Auckland skyline as seen from that side of town.


Another outside the Corban Estate, in Henderson, shows the old Corbans building and the one on Triangle Rd, in Massey, features colourful triangles.

Tooth said he hoped people would see a level of humility in the way he was running his election campaign - something he felt was sometimes missing in local and national governments.

"I really want to do some good. My dream is to build a relationship of trust and understanding between communities and their political representatives.

"I think the first [idea] is getting better representation - having more humble working-class leaders standing up and putting their name forward to kind of balance out the scales of representation.

"There aren't many working-class people in Government at the moment - or at least, some of them they were working-class, but they've been in Government so long that they're disconnected from it."

Among the issues he is passionate about - particularly for the area he is running for - is Kauri dieback in the Waitākere Ranges and homelessness.

Tooth is one of eight people running for the ward; alongside Paul Talyancich, Greg Presland, Shane Henderson, Michael Coote, Linda Cooper, Tricia Cheel and Peter Chan.