Rototuna Senior High School complete winning mural

Students at Rototuna Senior High School in Hamilton have completed their winning mural titled ‘Kotahitanga‘ as part of this year’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Resene Wall Worthy Competition.

The high school was one of ten winners in this year’s competition, which gives youth groups, schools and ECEs from across the country the opportunity to paint a mural with an environmental theme or message, to help beautify an area in their local community.

The mural was created by the school’s student-led Puna Wānanga PLAART roopu (committee), and depicts the diversity within the kura, wider community and acknowledges Ngāti Wairere as mana whenua with a focus on conservation.

Students involved in the project included Olivia Connolly, Nina Ozoa, Lily Roger, Zara Houlihan, Justine Moira Otieco, Jade Goslett, Ella Jefferies, Darliss Long, Hayley Wallace and Kassia Gorgulu.

Teacher Michelle Karl says Puna Wānanga is where the students can use their passion and interests to create authentic projects which connect to the local community and make a difference.

 “Our kura is built on Ngāti Wairere whenua and we are blessed to connect and be inspired by their wairua,” said Ms. Karl. “Rototuna High is constructed on the foundations of community and working alongside each other as a whānau. The three ākonga represent how we embrace the culture and history of our kura identity, while acknowledging diversity and the strengths our ākonga individually bring to their own learning and achievements. Our kura emblem is the Kāhu, this illustrates how we connect, collaborate, become community minded learners who lead, navigate and excel on our own learning journeys. We are like the kāhu soaring high in the sky.”

As part of the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Resene Wall Worthy prize, the school received $750 in vouchers for Resene paints of their choosing, painting supplies and a $500 cash bonus for the school.

About the Resene Nature Murals Competition
The Resene Nature Murals Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from April to June 2022. Community members were called on to submit mural designs, which include an environmental message, for a wall to paint in their local community. Artists from around the country sent in their designs, with the top ten murals selected based on their environmental message, enhancement of the community, and originality/creativity. Winners then have 12 months to bring their mural to life.

Winning designs receive a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to paint their mural, receive a $1,000 grant upon completion

Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO, Heather Saunderson, says: “Our Resene Nature Murals Competition provides a great opportunity for artists to beautify their local communities. In its sixth year, this competition continues to grow in popularity and we’re always so impressed with the calibre of entries we receive that narrowing down the selection to just ten winners is getting harder and harder. We’re so excited to see these murals come to life, knowing how the beautification of public spaces greatly benefits communities by increasing civic pride and deterring vandalism and anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti.”

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

  • Micaela van den Berg, Sunrise, Kaipara
  • Brigita Botma, Harmony, Auckland
  • Carol Green & Kim Littlejohn, Bringing Nature to the City, Auckland
  • Corey Harbrow, Keep NZ Beautiful, Christchurch
  • Danny Owen, Nature, Invercargill
  • Leon Hohepa, Future Generations, Porirua
  • Matt Russell, Resilience, Wellington
  • Paranika Dudley Heeth, The Return of Nature, Auckland
  • Shann Whitaker, The Interconnection of all Living Things, Mangawhai
  • Vanessa Barclay, The World is in Our Hands, Cambridge

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