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Arapohue School in Northland has unveiled their award-winning mural, titled ‘Unity’ as one of ten winners in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Wall Worthy Competition 2020.

The mural depicts the silhouettes of the Arapohue students set against the local landscape of rural farmland and the small mountain of Maungaraho, a landmark the community connects with, with the words ‘Stronger Together Kia Kaha Tātou’ across the top.

“When we first started discussing entering this mural competition we had thought about a gardening/bee theme to go on one of our water tanks. This seemed a popular concept and then COVID hit and we went into lockdown. Two of our students then had another idea and designed a mural around the importance of sticking together, and how collectively we are far stronger,” says Principal Kylie Piper.

“We are thrilled with the finished result and it hangs proudly visible by our school entrance, so all can see and receive the message when they arrive here, ‘Kia Kaha Tātou’, we ARE stronger together.”

The Resene Wall Worthy Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from February to March 2020, with schools, early childhood centres and youth groups around New Zealand asked to submit a mural design which celebrated their local history or nature conservation theme, which could then be painted in their local community.

From all of the submissions received, 15 designs were chosen as finalists and put to public vote at the start of April. Over 5,500 votes were received, and the 10 winners were chosen. The winning schools receive a $750 Resene paint voucher, drop cloth and high vis vests as well as $500 prize money for murals completed by the end of Term 1, 2021.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO, Heather Saunderson said: “Our Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme engages with students, communities and artists to paint their little piece of New Zealand beautiful. We were so impressed with all the submissions made for this year’s Resene Wall Worthy Competition and inundated with votes for the top 10 winners. During these trying times as we navigate through the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s heartening to see schools, early childhood centres and community groups inspire beauty and work together within their local communities to bring these murals to life.”

The ten Resene Wall Worthy Competition winners and regions are listed below, and their designs can be viewed here.

  • Conifer Grover School, Auckland – “Paddling the Waka Together to Reach New Horizons”
  • Kaharoa School, Rotorua – “Tā Mātou Pai Ake”
  • Glenavy School, Waimate – “Haerenga (Journey)”
  • The Terrace School 2, Central Otago – “Keep New Zealand Beautiful”
  • Spotswood College, New Plymouth – “Nga Atua”
  • Grantlea Downs School, Timaru – “Cultural Celebration”
  • Broomfield School, Hurunui – “Together We Are One”
  • Levin Intermediate, Horowhenua – “Kiwiana”
  • Arapohue School, Kaipara – “UNITY”
  • Hatea-a-Rangi School, Gisborne – “A tatou korero – Our Stories”

Arapohue School – Unity

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