Media release

Transported collaboration bringing history and storytelling to Dunedin bus shelters

Tuesday 4 May 2021

Growl of bus, beep of car horn,
Construction sites to eavesdrop on;
Generations making dissent and din –
Whine, groan, roar, moan, hum.


This except from New Zealand Poet Laureate David Eggleton’s 2006 poem “Soundings”, juxtaposed with an image of horse-drawn cart in Anderson’s Bay, sums up Dunedin then and now: a lively din of movement. The image gives a sense of the 1900s in Dunedin – a hive of activity, construction and progress, the bus passengers sitting on the roof for the best view.

While passengers nowadays are not allowed on the roof of the bus, our city is still lively.

The Eggleton poem is one of many selected alongside images in a new collaboration celebrating Dunedin’s heritage and the role of transport in our community.

The Otago Regional Council is proud to collaborate with Dunedin Unesco City of Literature and the Hocken Collections on this project, Transported.

Thirty unique heritage displays will be stickered on glass shelters across the Orbus network in Dunedin, ahead of the 2021 Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival, running from 6-9 May 2021.

These images and writers’ words reflect the stories and experiences of locals spanning decades, celebrating the adventures, advances, and antics of transport in our city, including cars, buses, trams, bicycles, motorbikes, horse-drawn buses, rail and – of course – Shanks’s Pony.

ORC Transport Implementation Lead Julian Phillips said the collaboration highlighted the history and importance of public transport in the city.

“In Dunedin, there is a strong sense of heritage and history, and while the current network and Bee Card are all relatively new, they too will become part of our historical backdrop in time. To be part of a celebration of the city is a great privilege, and I’m sure it will be welcomed by many of our passengers.

“An extra advantage of the decals is that they help to prevent bird strike on our glass shelters along the Peninsula,” Mr Phillips said.

Director City of Literature, Nicky Page said, “Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature is thrilled to partner with ORC and Hocken Collections on this special initiative to honour our wonderful local writers. There is a tangible connection between travel and reading, and the combination of words and images is irresistible.

“We all loved the idea of launching the installations in time for the spectacular Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival 2021. The Festival kicks off this week with a stonkingly good programme comprising writers from Dunedin and around New Zealand. There are so many extraordinary writers here in Dunedin – we’re incredibly lucky!”

The Otago Heritage Bus Society also played a role, advising ORC on some of the best locations for the stickers. Mr Phillips thanked them for their input.

A social media campaign is asking people to post their Transported selfie to the Orbus Facebook page, or to post a comment indicating why they would like to attend the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival. Entries will go in the draw to win one of three prize packs including tickets to the Writers & Readers Festival, books by featured authors, and Bee Card credit.

To enter, visit


A full list of the 30 bus stops receiving the heritage decals is provided below:

1: 44 Elgin Road 

2: 11 Opoho Road

3: Big Save Furniture, Crawford Street

4: 566 Kaikorai Valley Road

5: 80 Signal Hill Road

6: Moana Pool Shelter, Upper Stuart Street

7: 393 Andersons Bay Road, Outside McDonalds

8: 42 Stanley Street, Kenmure

9: Salvation Army, Princes Street

10: Inter City Bus Stop, Moray Place

11: 280 Andersons Bay Road, outside Mitsubishi dealer

12: St Kilda Terminus, Victoria Road across from Ice Stadium 

13: 59 Stevenson Road, Sawyers Bay

14: 559 Andersons Bay Road

15: 42 Musselburgh Rise

16: Midland Street @ Portsmouth Drive, outside Taylor Made Motors

17: Green Island, Outside Memorial Park

18: 110 Prince Albert Road, South Dunedin

19: 77-79 George Street, Port Chalmers 

20: Borlasses Road, Port Chalmers

21: Nairn Street inbound stop, Taieri Rd, outside Nairn Street park

22: 240 Macandrew Road

23: 247 Brockville Road

24: Portobello Road, Macandrew Bay next to park

25: 2 Harington Point Road, Portobello (just before Portobello Pub)

26: 12 Corstorphine Road

27: 64 Middleton Road

28: Museum Reserve, Albany Street

29: 48 Brockville Road

30: 430 Portobello Road, outside Glenfalloch Gardens