Award-winning mural unveiled in Maraetai, Auckland

2023 Resene Nature Mural Competition winner

Artist Natasha Fitzpatrick has unveiled her award-winning mural titled ‘Protect Us’ in Maraetai, Auckland.

Ms Fitzpatrick was one of ten winners from across the country who took out the top prize in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Mural Competition 2023.

The mural, which is located on a toilet block at Maraetai Park, portrays the message of protecting New Zealand’s native flora and fauna and includes images of pohutukawa, kōwhai trees, bees, whales and fish, with the words ‘Protect Us’ in the centre.

“My inspiration for the mural was mainly the importance of the honeybee, hence why they’re the centre of the art, and how without them there is no us, no life. I wanted to show how the sun, the plants, the sea and the sea life are all connected, and how for us all to thrive we need to look after each other,” says Ms Fitzpatrick.

“I had an absolute blast painting the mural and met a lot of happy locals who were so supportive and loved having a new artwork to appreciate. I feel extremely grateful to be able to contribute to the community I live in.”

The Resene Nature Mural Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from April to June 2023. Community members were called on to submit environmentally-themed mural designs to paint on a wall in their local community. Artists from around the country sent in their designs, with the top ten murals selected in June based on their environmental message, enhancement of the community, originality and creativity. Winners have up to 12 months to bring their mural to life.

Winning artists receive a $1,000 commission once the mural is completed, along with a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to bring their designs to life.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO Heather Saunderson says: “Our Resene Nature Mural Competition provides a great opportunity for artists to beautify their local communities. The beautification of public spaces greatly benefits communities by increasing civic pride, deterring vandalism and reducing anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti.”

“We were impressed with the dozens of high-calibre entries we received, so much so that narrowing the selection to just ten winners was a tough task! Natasha’s mural is one of the first of the 2023 murals to be fully completed, and we’re thrilled to see the result.”

Since its inception in 2017, there have been 57 Nature Murals commissioned as a result of the programme.

The ten winning artists and regions are listed below, and the designs can be viewed here.

  • Brigita Botma (Coromandel Town): Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute
  • Sylvie Currin (Kaitaia): Kauri, Spirit of Resilience
  • Terri Donaldson (Maungaturoto): The Creatures of Kaipara
  • Mel Eaton (Christchurch): Floating with Whio
  • Natasha Fitzpatrick (Auckland): Protect us
  • Stan Mans (Hastings): Breath of Life
  • Melisa Nocelli (Arrowtown): Where Wildlife Matters
  • Kiran Parbhu (Wellington): The Birds and the Bees (and all the pollinators in between!)
  • Romina Romero (Auckland): Pukapuka o Tamaki (Lungs of Auckland)
  • Robert Scanlan (Christchurch): The Southern Migration of the Godwit

Natasha’s mural is located on the toilet block at Maraetai Park, 194 Maraetai Drive, Auckland. The Resene paint colours used included Tree Frog Green Half Resolution Blue, Black, White, Havoc Rich Red and Quarter Turbo Yellow.

View a map of all Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Resene Nature Murals here.

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