A number of murals around Kamo is part of a beautification project to make the suburb an attractive place for new businesses and visitors alike.
The Whangārei District Council has approved $100,000 to be spent by the Kamo Community Inc on initiatives for the enjoyment of residents and visitors around the central business district.
Among the mural artwork that has gone up on walls is that of former All Black Ian Jones, better known as the Kamo Kid, and another person from the area known as the "White Knight" who worked behind the enemy line in Germany and Europe.
Whangārei artist Earnest Bradley is doing three murals— Kamo Before, Now and In Future.
Kamo Before depicts a mural of Jones, Kamo Now is of a budding rugby player, and the other is a mural of the Kamo rugby jersey.
"I chose to go with the rugby side of things. I remember Ian from when I was a child and he was always a good role model when I wanted to be a league player. I didn't know he was from Kamo," Bradley said.
His brother Kairau Bradley paid homage to three native New Zealand birds — huia, kiwi, and kea— on the murals he put up on the wall by Kamo Four Square.
The mural on huia acknowledges the past and represents the stand we must take to learn from our mistakes, and not only maintain, but create new systems that preserve all things precious in this life.
The kiwi represents the present and Bradley wrote: "Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery, today we must seize the moment and make decisions that reflect our best interests by learning from the past and preparing for the future."
A kea represents the future.
Kamo Community Inc chairman Colin Twyman said the first project was a laneway between the library and a carpark which was completed during lockdown.
He said students of Kamo High School would put seats along the laneway for the public's convenience.
At the corner of Grant and Boswell streets, a mural depicting miners has gone up a garage wall and one more will go up by Hammer Hardware.
"The project is about beautifying Kamo and to make it an attractive destination for retailers, not just for visitors. A lot of elderly are up here with various retirement villages," Twyman said.
He said the Kamo Community Inc has also put up 12 security cameras from funding by the Lions Foundation.
"It's a wonderful project and although it's been hard at times, generally speaking, it's been good."