The Talking Pole collection is the talk of the town. The unique sculptures throughout the township centre have been designed for locals and visitors alike to appreciate.
Tokoroa's Talking Poles were first suggested in 1996 by landscape designer Colleen Priest as a feature for the town's retail area. At a public meeting in 1997 there was very positive support for the idea of a collection of sculptured poles representing Tokoroa's many different cultures, clubs and organizations. The project was enthusiastically supported by residents, since the start nearly 50 poles have been displayed.
The sculptures have helped to build pride in the town and are now an established visitor attraction. Many local businesses contributed funds and in-kind support.
The inaugural Pole Art of the World Symposium in March 2004 produced eight new sculptures in native and exotic timbers by a mix of local, New Zealand and international sculptors. The event attracted around 5,000 people to the site over three weeks, revitalizing the Talking Poles project and proving the interest and commitment of the community to its future.
The Talking Poles have been established over the years by a Trust of hardworking volunteers. In 2015 the considerable efforts of the Trust were recognized by Council and by agreement with Trust members the Talking Poles project has been brought back in house to the South Waikato District Council.