Last week, people were asked to vote for their favourite way to "Unite Taranaki" and show their support for each other in the battle against Covid-19.

Unite Taranaki is a combined initiative from all of the region's four councils, Taranaki Regional Council, Stratford District Council, South Taranaki District Council and New Plymouth District Council. It also has the support of the Taranaki Emergency Management Office.

Voting has now closed with a clear winner.

Making thank you signs for essential for workers such as nurses, supermarket workers, medical staff, rubbish collectors and water technicians, was the winner in a poll of options to help Unite Taranaki, receiving about 280 votes from close to 800 cast.


The next most popular options were putting Christmas lights up early and making chalk art on driveways, each with about 200 votes. The final option, painting letterboxes amber and black received about 120 votes.

Other ideas received included an Easter egg hunt, supporting Anzacs by promoting gatherings on our lawns with torches on Anzac Day and running a non-perishable food collection service.

Ngākuru School 7-year-old Harriet Grainger-Allen delivers a mock news broadcast about the Covid-19 lock down.

Before voting had finished, plenty of people were already putting signs up, including the Buckland girls in Stratford.

Sisters Jordyn, Kaitlyn and Lexi put a sign on their fence to show their support for all essential workers. The girls have plenty of essential workers in their own family, with their dad working in a supermarket, their uncle in the police and their grandmother working in a care home.

Their sign, also featuring teddy bears as part of the countrywide bear hunt game being played by thousands of families during lockdown, is hanging up outside their Pembroke Road fence to be seen by anyone walking or driving past.

New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says people can show their gratitude with signs on their fences, lawns and windows for the workers to see.

"These essential workers are our everyday heroes and our signs will show the rest of New Zealand, how Taranaki is hanging tough together to help smash Covid 19. Creating thank you artwork for essential workers is a great activity to keep busy, get imaginative and to share Taranaki's values with the world."

If you create a sign, once it is finished and on display, share it using #UniteTaranaki, to help spread it far and wide so all essential workers can see them, even ones who aren't on your street.

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