Crest helps complete new library and civic building exterior

Published: 22 March 2024

One of the final pieces of work on Ashburton’s new library and civic centre was hoisted into place yesterday, when the district’s crest (or coat of arms) was installed on the exterior of the building.

The 2m crest and words Ashburton District Council were created from metal and fixed to Te Whare Whakatere’s decorative shroud; the shroud is designed to replicate the district’s many grain silos or stainless steel dairy tanks, acknowledging farming’s importance to the local economy.

An area at the front of the building was cordoned off so the installers could safely work from a scissor lift to access the shroud to fix the crest in place. A light in Baring Square will be angled to shine on the crest at night.

Mayor Neil Brown said it was great to see the crest finally up.

“Te Whare Whakatere has been open for a couple of months now and this is among the final jobs. We continue to be thrilled at how the building operates for library users and for staff all over the building. It has quite a presence in the CBD and is proving an attraction for locals and visitors alike.”

The date for a formal opening is still being worked on, once special guests have been confirmed.

The Coat of Arms of the Borough of Ashburton was designed in 1966 and it incorporates parts of the Arms of both Lord Ashburton and the Turton family, who were the first European settlers in Ashburton. The muzzled bear’s head comes from Lord Ashburton’s Arms and the trefoils from the Turton family.

The blue wavy band stands for the Ashburton River and the Māori canoe represents a myth in which the Southern Alps is a canoe resting on its side.

The ram’s head and grain represent farming in the area; the birds are pied stilts, wading birds that lived in the braided rivers of the district at the time.

The motto Fides Probata Coronat translates generally to “faith confirms what has been proved good and true”.

Mayor Brown said the crest was manufactured by sign specialists Signtech and cost $16,500.

“There was a previous crest on the old building on Baring Square West, so having this new one completes the building.”

Coat of Arms Ashburton Borough

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