Mangōnui is very fond and proud of its new mural, a Nga Atua Hou project led by
Māori artists Bobby MacDonald and Amiria Puia-Taylor - and now it has won an award.
The mural was a gesture of gratitude for the town's hospitality during the Covid alert level 4 lockdown, with contributions from local emerging artist Miriama Soutar and her brother Luke. And now it's received the award it won when it was no more than a design.
It had already been named one of 10 winners in Keep New Zealand Beautiful's Resene nature murals competition, the judges noting the artists had mounted a social media campaign to encourage the community to vote on the design, which paid homage to Mangōnui and its taiao (environment).
The mural, on a wall at Wiltons Garage and Marine Service building on the waterfront, depicts the Kaitiaki of Mangōnui - the shark that is credited with guiding the waka Ruakaramea into the harbour and safeguards Mangōnui's waterways. It also features the surrounding maunga, wāhi tapu, and the beauty of Mangōnui's sunrises and sunsets.
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The artists said they held Mangōnui close to their hearts, describing the project as being a true labour of love and a very memorable experience.
"The kōrero of #GIVBAK100 Mangōnui pays homage to and celebrates the mana and beauty of why we all love Mangōnui, the taiao first and foremost," MacDonald said.
The competition, part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from April to June 2020, with artists encouraged to submit mural designs that had an environmental message.
Artists from around the country submitted designs, the best 10 being selected according to their environmental message, enhancement of the community and originality/creativity.
Each winning design received $1000 upon completion, along with a $750 Resene paint voucher and other materials to bring the murals to life.
Keep New Zealand Beautiful chief executive Heather Saunderson said this was the fourth year of the partnership between KNZB and Resene, and all had been "absolutely amazed" by the quality and quantity of entries this year.
"Research has shown that the beautification of public spaces deters vandalism and anti-social behaviour such as littering and graffiti, and increases civic pride," she said.
The other winners, which can be seen on the Keep NZ Beautiful website, are in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Hawke's Bay, Tauranga, Rotorua and Rangiora.