The Canterbury Heroes are a set of bronze busts sculpted by Mark Whyte. They are located in the Arts Centre on Worcester Boulevard in Christchurch. The twelve heroes were chosen by the Local Heroes Trust whose members include former Christchurch Art Gallery Trust chairman Chris Brocket, Arts Foundation of New Zealand trustee Ros Burdon, Susan and Jim Wakefield, and Sir Miles Warren.
The twelve local heroes
The Canterbury heroes and the annotations on their plaques are as follows:
- Sir Don Beaven
Doctor, research specialist and teacher, loved and respected as the founder of diabetes research and care in New Zealand, tireless promoter of the healthy life.
- Frank Dickson
First Chief Executive of the Canterbury Savings Bank 1962-1988, leader and inspirer of the team which created over $300 million of funds for the Canterbury Community Trust.
- Sir Richard Hadlee
World class international cricketer, premier fast bowler and all-rounder, first bowler to capture 400 test wickets, long standing supporter of sports youth development and health.
- Lady Diana Isaac
Quarrying and construction company co-founder, dedicated conservator of native birds, preserver of historic buildings, philanthropic benefactor to Christchurch.
- Elsie Locke
Political, social and local community activist, well-loved historian and writer, determined and doughty fighter for the rights of the under-dog, active to the end.
- Charles Luney
Master builder of many of the foremost buildings of Christchurch, upright and respected contractor and employer for the 75 years of his working life.
- Margaret Mahy
Christchurch children’s librarian, world-famous writer of magical stories and verse for children and young adults, giver of the gift of imagination.
- Sir Tipene O’Regan
Rakatira, kaumatua, writer, orator and teacher, principal negotiator of the Ngai Tahu Settlement, which brought many positive results for all of Canterbury.
- Sir Robertson (Bob) Stewart
Businessman and industrialist, founder of PDL group of companies, pioneering exporter, generous host and benefactor to many causes.
- William Sutton
Artist, painter and craftsman, student and teacher (1934-41, 1946-79) at Canterbury College and University, pre-eminent painter of Canterbury landscapes and people.
- Sir Angus Tait
Father of the electronics and radio-communications industry in Christchurch, life-long supporter of research and development, generous benefactor of educational opportunities for others.
- Sir Miles Warren
Eminent architect, at the fore-front of building design for over 50 years, generous supporter of the arts and tireless worker for the betterment of Christchurch.