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Spotswood College in New Plymouth has unveiled their award-winning mural, titled ‘Nga Atua’ as one of ten winners in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Wall Worthy Competition 2020.

The mural was designed by two junior students and depicts a story of Nga Atua (Māori Gods) to celebrate the school’s heritage and connection to the land and sea.

Our Mural was inspired by Nga Atua because our kura (school) sits between the mountain and the ocean we wanted to create an artwork that acknowledges and celebrates this as well as reminds us of our collective strengths and values. Tūmatauenga reminds us of our inner strength and ability to overcome barriers; Tāne connects us to the earth and reminds us of the importance of looking after the earth and each other; Mahuika represents the fire that ignites out hearts and drives us to achieve our potential; Māui reminds us that great things can be achieved; and Hinemoana, the female atua of the sea inspires us in our creative endeavors,” says teacher Aly Scott.

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 ten 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 ten 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 Grove 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”

Spotswood College

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