If you've been through Awanui lately, you'll no doubt have noticed a selection of new artworks popping up around the place.
As part of the Te Hiku Open Spaces Revitalisation Project, several art projects have come to life, capturing the history of the township.
Ten portholes were installed last week on the Awanui Hotel fence along State Highway 1 that include historic timepieces from around the area, and form part of a larger streetscaping project.
Awanui Progressive and Ratepayers' Association's Suzie Clark, Printing.com and High Voltage helped create the steel portholes, with Awanui Hotel replacing their fence to take the weight of the new work.
This week, more artwork went up, this time across the road from the Awanui Hotel on gateway entrances to private properties.
The three pieces of art were created by artist Grayson Clark (Te Aupouri, Ngati Kahu, Te Rarawa, Ngapuhi) who interpreted Awanui kaitiaki and what that meant historically and culturally to Awanui.
Clark said he was honoured and humbled to be approached to take part in the project.
"The three designs represent our kaitiaki, people, the environment (like the Awanui River) and our ancestors," Clark said.
"To be a kaitiaki not only means a guardian or protector, but someone that teaches and connects us with our environment, so that it is treasured and sustained for our future generations to enjoy.
"I'd like to thank Suzie Clark and Andrea Panther for giving us the honour and opportunity to be a part of the beautification project."
Other exciting upcoming projects in the pipeline for Awanui are a new carpark on SH10 to support the busy Bakerman Cafe, along with a new boardwalk and decking to surround the cafe area.
A children's playground, garden landscaping, more artwork, a Welcome to Awanui sign and new digital community sign are also being planned for the area.
The digital billboard, to be located between the BP and Awanui Hotel, will be sponsored by local business ads to allow clubs and schools to promote their community events free.
Te Hiku Open Spaces Revitalisation Project spokeswoman Andrea Panther said it had been a busy 12 months since planning on the Awanui project commenced last year.
"This has been a long time coming, but things are starting to roll out now which is exciting," Panther said.
"This is only the beginning, we've still got a number of things to come."
Panther said all projects had been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions, which had put a halt on supplies and equipment coming from Auckland.