Levin's Poppy mural is back in place, in time for Anzac Day. The mural, made a few years ago by artist Wendy Hodder, was badly defaced in January by graffiti. Council staff said the vandalism was so bad the entire mural was taken down and put into storage until it could be restored.

The walls of a nearby public toilet were also graffitied the same night.

"I made the poppy mural in honour of those who fought in those world wars but especially to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings," Wendy Hodder said.

She said she wanted to do something special to compliment other work done in Anzac Park at the time, such as the light boxes.


"I painted something that focused on sunlight shining into dark places, hoping it would suggest also that there may be other ways of solving problems between nations other than going to war.

"I hope we have learnt something from those terrible wars, but I wanted to honour the bravery and the character of all those soldiers who participated."

She said the board she had painted the field of poppies on had needed repair for some time and the graffiti gave the opportunity to tackle that issue.

"Though disgusting, the damage done by the graffiti itself wasn't a big deal to repair."

She said the mural had meaning for a lot of people in Horowhenua.

"It holds deep meaning for many. So many people had family members who went to those two world wars. Damaging that mural really touched a nerve with many."