Ed Sheeran's mutual love affair with New Zealand

The British singer is known for his catchy love songs, and maybe his next one will be about his love for New Zealand?

By Alex Blackwood

After a fair amount of backlash, the $8,350 mural of Ed Sheeran has been completed. The controversy was over the fact that council money was being spent on a picture of a pop star - albeit one who is visiting the city very soon.

The multicoloured (and very kind) portrait of the artist was painted by Dunedin artist Tyler Kennedy Stent - and includes a nod to Hayley Holt who wasn't pleased about the whole money-for-a-picture-of-a-popstar thing.

"Why?" Was the resounding cry from Breakfast presenter Hayley Holt, Dunedinites and all the other walks of Kiwi.

But the answer is simple. New Zealand has a crush on Ed Sheeran. And it is mutual.

Hayley Holt's special mention in the mural.
Hayley Holt's special mention in the mural.

Ed Sheeran has been pretty open about his love for New Zealand. Having visited a couple times, asked Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for citizenship, reached out to Kiwi fans and added extra shows to the Aotearoa leg of his upcoming tour, it is safe to call him a wannabe Kiwi.

Approximation of what Ed may look like when his dream of becoming a Kiwi comes true.
Approximation of what Ed may look like when his dream of becoming a Kiwi comes true.

It is also clear that the Brit's love for Aotearoa is reciprocated - he topped our Spotify listening charts for 2017 in several categories and every time he visits, his being here eclipses all else (excluding Barack Obama being here!?)

But what does he see in New Zealand that keeps him keep coming back for more? Our rugged landcape, our niche humour or our charming accents? Spoiler alert: it isn't our chocolate or the fact we got him to jump off a cliff (don't worry he was attached to a rope and everything).

Scroll down to see why Ed Sheeran is keen to come back and why we keep welcoming him.