Shop windows of some Hastings businesses have come alive with vibrant artworks created by Kahungunu school children.

It is part of a continuation of Matariki celebrations, with a series of activities focused on the Māori arts called the "Main Street Heretaunga Toi/Art Week" – presented by Iwi Toi Kahungunu, and supported by Hastings District Council.

A cultural celebration through art, the participating students were asked to create artworks based on the theme "Cultural Legends of Our Ancestors" – reflecting the stories and narratives of their culture whether it be from Aotearoa New Zealand or other countries across the world.

Some of the artworks are also on display at the Hastings library and in the reception area of the Hastings District Council.


Iwi Toi's Dr Sandy Ansett said he had run a similar event in Gisborne that was very well received by schools as well as local businesses and the public.

"The idea of the exhibition is to enable local contexts and notions of 'place' to be celebrated through the visual arts, in collaboration and partnership with our district's schools.

"It's about nurturing place-based learning, culture, identity, connectedness and wellbeing through the arts."

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngati Kahungunu Ki Heretaunga Year 11 student Shane Kemp's art is being displayed in the window of Amy P – an image of a taniwha he created on an iPad, which he said was inspired by whakairo (carving).

Peterhead Primary School pupil Aniray Price, 6, painted a colourful depiction of the legend of Rangi and Papa, featuring children who wanted to be guardians of the planet, and which appears in the window of Awa Ink.

In total there will be more than 20 shops and businesses displaying the artworks, of which about 250 have been produced in total.

There will also be other associated events over the coming few weeks including an exhibition of works by David Fine Scholarship recipient Evangeline Archer, a Toimairangi student, supported by works of her fellow students, running from July 8 to July 20 at Arts Inc. Heretaunga.