Awapuni School unveils award-winning mural in Gisborne

Awapuni School has unveiled their award-winning mural, titled ‘Our Place – Turanga-nui-a-Kiwa’ as one of ten winners in this year’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Resene Wall Worthy Competition.

The mural was designed by teachers Lisa Dixon, Janine Bava and Principal Nik House, and depicts the story of Awapuni’s ancestors which the local iwi have shared with them.

“Our mural tells the story of how our place was once a kai basket for iwi who lived in this area where our school now resides. The stream was abundant with kanae fish, hence its name Waikanae, the raupō where the pukeko lived, kumara that was planted from the arrival of one of the first waka (Horouta), and the environment that the toroa and kārearea birds soar through with the Gisborne sun and the four winds that visit,” says Lisa Dixon.

The Resene Wall Worthy Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from February to April 2021, with schools, early childhood centres and youth groups around New Zealand asked to submit a mural design which celebrated their local history or a 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 6,900 votes were received, and the 10 winners were chosen. The winning schools receive a $750 Resene voucher for paint and materials, a drop cloth and high vis vests as well as a donation of $500 for murals completed by the end of Term 4, 2021.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO, Heather Saunderson says, “Every year we look forward to running this programme. With the support of Resene, we’ve seen our Wall Worthy Competition growing in popularity. This year it’s been very inspiring to see the calibre of mural designs from schools, early childhood centres and community groups from around the country, each showcasing either their local heritage or an environmental message. Research shows the positive impact mural art has on surrounding communities – from increasing civic pride to reducing anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti. Congratulations Awapuni School on completing your mural – we love to see the winning entries come to life and your little part of New Zealand painted beautiful.”

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

  • Arapohue School, Dargaville – ‘Be Kind to Bees’
  • Awapuni School, Gisborne – ‘Our Place – Turanga-nui-a-Kiwi’
  • Coromandel Area School, Coromandel Town – ‘Coromandel Treasures’
  • Little Peppertree Preschool, Rangiora – ‘Whiria Te Tangata’
  • Levin Intermediate, Levin – ‘Save the Planet’
  • Kaiapoi High School, Kaiapoi – ‘Belonging Matters’
  • North Street School, Fielding – ‘Keep the Pacific Alive’
  • Rosebank School, Auckland – ‘Te Whau’
  • Sunset Primary School, Rotorua – ‘Ki Tua’ (Seek Beyond)
  • Wairoa Primary School Junior Syndicate, Wairoa – ‘Papa & Rangi

Awapuni School, ‘Our Place – Turanga-nui-a-Kiwi’

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