Tauranga City Council has spent $441,000 on artworks since 2015 to create a vibrant environment.

City Transformation general manager Jaine Lovell-Gadd says arts and cultural experiences are a vital part of our community's wellbeing, identity and the fabric of life in Tauranga.

"Public art assists in creating a city environment that is vibrant, engaging and dynamic to shape the city we all and our future generations want to live in. Especially with public art, using Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival as an example, it builds social cohesion, makes our community proud and brings communities and neighbours together enjoying the beauty of it."

The murals created built a sense of belonging and improved the look and feel of public places, from the waterfront to the back lanes of the CBD.
"Public art also offers a strong economic benefit to our business community. Nearly


50,000 people visited the gallery during Paradox, spending $1.2 million, with 52 per cent of those being locals."

Often, the important social impact of public art is hard to measure, she says.

"With the Hairy Maclary sculptures being a prominent example, it has created a new sense of ownership and pride within our community, encompassing young and old."

Council is also working with Creative Bay of Plenty and The Incubator Creative Hub to
enhance open spaces across the city and to shape the city's identity, she says.

The murals on Matapihi Road that were part of the Paradox Festival. Photo/File
The murals on Matapihi Road that were part of the Paradox Festival. Photo/File

"Public art projects are usually associated with the development of new buildings, structures, streetscape upgrades and are built into the project plans. Sometimes they are a result of events such as Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival or are funded privately such as the Hairy Maclary sculptures."

As part of the streetscape upgrade and development of Durham Street and Durham Lane they are working alongside Ngai Tamarawaho to incorporate new artwork.
Public artworks funding 2015 -2018

■ Eight Paradox street art peices $88,381
■ Memorial Park Pump Station artwork $50,000
■ Hairy Maclary garden $120,000
■ Tauranga waterfront tidal steps poen $65,000
■ Tauranga waterfront pier lighting waves $118,000