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Local artists in the Northland town of Mangonui have unveiled their award-winning mural, titled ‘Mangonui’ as one of ten winners in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Murals Competition 2020.

The mural project by group Ngā Atua Hou was led by Māori artists Bobby MacDonald and Amiria Puia with local emerging artist Miriama Soutar and her brother Luke.

With the support of the wider Mangonui community the artists put together a social media campaign to get the community to vote on a design to put forward for the competition. The final design pays homage to Mangonui and its beautiful taiao (environment).

Located on Wiltons Garage and Marine Service Building on the Mangonui waterfront, the mural depicts the Kaitiaki of Mangonui – the big shark that is known to have brought the waka Ruakaramea into the harbour and who safeguards the Mangonui waterways. The mural also tributes the surrounding maunga (mountains), wāhi tapu (sacred sites) and the beautiful Mangonui sunrise and sunsets.

The artists said they hold Mangonui close to their hearts and that the project has been a true labour of love and a very memorable experience.

“The kōrero of #GIVBAK100 Mangonui pays homage and celebrates the mana and beauty of why we all love Mangonui, the taiao (environment) first and foremost,” says artist Bobby MacDonald.

The Resene Nature Murals Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from April to June 2020, with artists encouraged to submit mural designs which included an environmental message. Artists from around the country sent in their designs, with the top ten murals selected based on their environmental message, enhancement of the community, and originality/creativity.

Winning designs receive a $1000 grant upon completion, along with a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to paint their mural.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO, Heather Saunderson, said: “This is the fourth year we have partnered with Resene to run our Nature Murals competition and we were absolutely amazed by both the quality and quantity of entries this year. Research has shown that the beautification of public spaces deters vandalism and anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti, and increases civic pride. We’re proud to partner with Resene again on this programme and we’re excited to see these murals come to life and beautify their little corners of New Zealand.”

The ten winning artists and regions are listed below, with their designs visible here.

  • Brigita Botma, Keep Our Home Clean NZ!, Auckland
  • Corey Harbrow, Adventures of Lucky n’ Bobs, Christchurch
  • Elise Grangier and James Mitchell, Mind the Balance, Wellington
  • Fiona Clarke, Our Planet, Auckland
  • Jil Sergent, Trouble in the Pegasus Basin, Hawke’s Bay
  • Kelly McGinley, Kaitiakitanga o te Moana, Tauranga
  • Kiran Parbhu, Power, Wellington
  • Mark Noble, Care For The World, And It Shall Care For You, Rotorua
  • Nest Arts Collective, In Our Hands, Rangiora
  • Ngā Atua Hou, Mangonui Mural Project, Mangonui

Ngā Atua Hou’s mural, ‘The Mangonui Mural Project’ in Mangonui

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