05 February 2024

We’re proud to introduce five adorable elephants we are fostering here at Northlands for the next couple of months.

These elephant sculptures are a part of Elmer’s Elephant Trail, taking place across Christchurch until February 18th.

Supporting the Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust, Elmer’s Ōtautahi Elephant Trail is an explorative sculpture trail reaching all corners of Christchurch. From Rangiora to Rolleston, Lyttelton to New Brighton and everywhere in between, dozens of elephants (some big, some small) have been scattered across the centre to enrich, entertain, inform, and connect our community in the name of charity.

Based on British writer and illustrator David McKee’s beloved character, Elmer the patchwork elephant, 60 elephant sculptures have been individually designed by professional and emerging artists, including students from a number of schools across the region.

Five elephants have settled into their temporary homes here at Northlands and are hunkering down until mid-February when they depart for their forever homes. Ultimately, the sculptures will be auctioned to raise money to enable the Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust to support people impacted by traumatic brain and other complex injuries throughout Canterbury.

Meet our elephants:

Elebones – by Lachlan Steele

One of 30 large elephants, Elebones was designed by the emerging digital artist Lachlan Steele. With his child-friendly design resembling an X-ray, Elebones symbolises warmth and community connection through his heart-shaped core.





The babies:

In addition to Elebones, we are hosting four baby elephants, each designed by a school from the region. Each school involved with Elmer’s Ōtautahi Elephant Trail was given a blank elephant sculpture to decorate. Each unique theme was designed and produced by students and teachers working together.


Tohu – by Cotsworld Mātāhae School

The narrative behind Tohu links the school to local waterways with special significance being placed upon the tuna (longfin and shortfin eel).

From Every Nation – by Emmanuel Christian School

Every student at Emmanuel Christian School had a chance to draw something important to them about their culture, family and beliefs. These designs and stories were then brought to life by artists from the older classes.

Harewood Gizmo – by Harewood School

Harewood School used manifestations representing their school teams – Harakeke, Mataī and Kahikatea – as the saddle border. They filled the saddle with the unique finger prints of every student.

Awhi – by Te Kura o Te Mātāpuna – Isleworth School


Iseworth designed Awhi to represent the school values of Resilience, Outstanding, Connected and Kind (R.O.C.K.). The cultural narrative represented by the stones is connected to their respect for the environment and waterways. The design incorporates fingerprints to show each student’s individuality.


You can find Elebones outside the entrance near Starbucks and the four babies in their enclosure inside near ANZ.