Unique handmade Christmas tree exhibition brings life back to Lower Hutt

An exhibition of unique handmade Christmas trees is bringing life and colour back to Wellington's Lower Hutt.

The region wants to boost visitor numbers and get the community back up and running after COVID-19 hit businesses hard with Christmas cheer spreading far and wide.

Locals have banded together in festive spirit for all to see, the exhibition allowing local artists to showcase their talents, by creating a Christmas tree out of completely recycled materials.

Local artist Jago Collier took his inspiration from old broken bicycles - using wheels to create a tree shape - and decorating it with chains, gears, bells and lights.

"We had an accumulation of wheels and I thought I could strip them down and turn them into a tree, it's cyberpunkish. I think it's taken those sort of recycling elements and has that industrial feel."

For other artists like Jojo Garcia Jowett, the design is more personal, her tree taking on the shape of her family's traditional home in the Philippines.

For her, Christmas is about home, but with closed borders she can't visit her loved ones this year - so she's bringing her home to New Zealand.

"If I can't see my kids or my family in the Philippines I might bring my home inside into my 'second' home," she told Newshub.

Whatever your style there's something for everyone, even designs like a futuristic tree made from disposed TV screens.

Entry to the exhibition is a simple Koha, with all proceeds going to the Lower Hutt food bank to help those in need this Christmas.

It's the first time the region has run an exhibition of this kind - organiser Michael Gray wants it to be the start of bringing life back into the community after a very turbulent and uncertain year.

"You want to get a bit of cheer around the street and mainly about pulling the community together and we've had a great response this year."

Locals banding together and sharing their Christmas season - in what some would say is the greatest gift of all.