WAI (Westland Arts Inc.) is a voluntary group whose aim is to increase the awareness, enjoyment of, and participation in the arts in our region.
One of our major projects is the annual Take-a-Seat Public Art Project, where we invite artists to submit designs to build an artseat in Hokitika - in essence, a sittable sculpture.

The finalists produce scale models that are assessed by judges and exhibited for public voting. The winning designer is awarded a commission of up to $8000 to create and install the seat in the given location. Fundraising and sponsorship pays for the seat.

We have seven artseats in town already; one is in the lane that links the town to the beach, three are along the central beachfront, and one is near the heritage area alongside the river promenade. Our most recent seat is outside the Library. Our aim is to have a number of these unique sculptures within the CBD that lead people out to the trail of artseats along the beach and the river, and along the Heritage Walkway on the periphery of town.

All artseats have been well received by locals and provide a special point of interest and photo opportunity for visitors. A positive spin-off has been the interest for other Artseats, such as the Teichelmann seat at the Carnegie Building commissioned by Heritage Hokitika in 2006. The Take-a-Seat project contributes to the cultural identity of Hokitika by providing a new piece of functional art for the town every year.