Winning Timaru mural completed by students

A new mural celebrating the Cantabrian outdoors and Aotearoa’s native wildlife, completed by local high school students, was recently unveiled at Craighead Diocesan School in Timaru.

The secondary school was one of ten winners in this year’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Resene Wall Worthy 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, titled Ko au te whenua, ko te whenua, ko au (I am the Land and the Land is Me), was inspired by beautiful local walks as well as the spectacular scenery around Mt Nimrod and Mt Somers, from which many of the school’s students originate.

The tracks to each peak are full of native trees and birds and became an essential element in the design sketches for the mural. Craighead Diocesan School Head of Department for Visual Arts, Gala Kirke, said, “We tried to capture the character of every bird from the curious Kakapo to the beautiful Tui, shy Kiwi and ever so wise Morepork.”

The mural also includes details such as a starry night’s sky, representative of the clear Cantabrian skies, and paid homage to other native birdlife that is found in the area. “A small hut in the middle of the painting is reflective of all the tramping huts in the area (which we are lucky to have), allowing us to spend many days in the great outdoors.”

The design was led by the school’s art department, and had 28 students from the school who signed up to help design and complete the artwork. Located at a focal point of the school’s grounds in Wrights Avenue, Timaru, the mural was designed to showcase the natural beauty that lies on the school’s doorstep and to increase awareness of what must be protected.

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 Wall Worthy Competition
Our Resene Wall Worthy Competition, which is part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, gives early childhood centres, schools and youth groups the chance to tell their local history, celebrate a local hero or communicate a nature or conservation theme via a mural on a wall in their community. The competition helps teach children the importance of Keeping New Zealand Beautiful by getting them involved in creating the design and helping bring it to life.

The ten winning schools and their regions are listed below, with their designs visible here.

  • Ashgrove School, Rangiora with Tūrangawaewae Our Place to Stand
  • Craighead Diocesan School, Timaru with Ko au te whenua, ko te whenua, ko au (I am the land and the land is me)
  • Dot Kids, Greytown with Our tamariki, our turangawaewae
  • Manchester Street School, Feilding with Be Kind to Papatuanuku
  • Martinborough Playcentre, Martinborough with Te Whanau Tupu ngatahi
  • Pakowhai School, Napier with We’re More Than Just Apples
  • Rangiora Playcentre with Nature’s Playground
  • Rototuna Senior High School, Hamilton with Kotahitanga
  • Taranaki Diocesan School for Girls with Te Kura Pi’opatanga o W’akaa’urangi
  • Woodend School, Waimakariri with Woodend School Cultural Narrative

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