Arataki Kindergarten and Riverlands Primary are proud to unveil their award-winning murals

Mount Maunganui’s Arataki Kindergarten and Blenheim’s Riverlands Primary, winners of the Early Childhood Centre and Primary School Categories of KNZB’s Wall Worthy Competition 2018, were excited to unveil the completion of their award-winning murals recently.

Now in its 8th year, KNZB’s Wall Worthy Competition is a community based design competition that is aimed at eliminating and preventing graffiti vandalism, while at the same time enriching the urban landscape with murals that celebrate our local communities and their stories.

Schools were asked to submit mural designs that illustrated what makes their town or school unique.

Finalists were selected from five different categories – Early Childhood Centre, Primary, Intermediate, Secondary School and Community & Youth Group – and winners chosen via public vote. Winning designs received an electronic prize, along with a $750 Resene voucher and other paint materials to bring their designs to life.

KNZB CEO, Heather Saunderson says that KNZB is proud to partner with Resene again this year to deter vandalism and ‘Paint New Zealand Beautiful’.

“Research shows us that there is a marked reduction in tagging when murals, reflective of the local community, are used to replace graffiti vandalised walls. The Wall Worthy Competition is a great way to not only enhance our urban environment, but to also bring our local communities together and create a strong sense of pride.”

Arataki’s mural tells the story of Ngā Maunga Tohorā: The Whale Mountains – a Tauranga Māori legend of three whales who beached themselves in Rangataua Bay.

Arataki Kindergarten’s completed mural

In their submission, the kindergarten said the story behind their mural design is one of local and cultural significance:

“Our mural will depict one of the local pūrākau or Māori legends that tell the story of three local mountains that many of our children and families are connected to. The themes behind this pūrākau include kotahitanga – working together for the collective, manaakitanga – taking care of each other, and taking care of our environment and whanaungatanga – family connections and relationships that sustain us.”

Project Co-ordinator Roxy Burt said “We are looking forward to seeing how our new mural will support children’s connection to our local landmarks, and provoke their own creative capacities for story-telling.

We hope that our mural will support a growing awareness and connection to our local pūrākau amongst our parents, whānau and wider community.”

In a similar vein, Riverlands Primary shared that the story behind their mural design is one of environmental significance:

“We linked the importance of the key message, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to the NZ Black Robin, perhaps one of the world’s most successful conservation stories, having brought back the population from one breeding female called Old Blue. This is a powerful story of hope and it demonstrates how dedication and attention to the environment can bring positive change.”

Project Co-ordinator Chelsea Pine said “The mural showcases our school’s Enviro motto: look after our rivers, look after our land, we are Riverlands.

Riverlands Primary School students with their completed mural

It’s important to our school because it sends a strong message to our community about the importance of conservation and sustainability.”

Pride and teamwork were an important aspect in the design and painting of the murals, with both winners commenting on how participating in the Wall Worthy Competition helped to bring their school together to create a strong sense of community.

Winners of the 2018 Wall Worthy Competition were Arataki Kindergarten, Riverlands Primary School, Levin Intermediate, Waitakere College and He Whanau Marama Charitable Trust.

Wall Worthy is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, brought to you by Resene.

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