The ocean covers 70 per cent of the earth's surface.

But, it often falls victim to human actions on the remaining 30 per cent.

National Aquarium Educator, Jake Brookie, says, "No part of New Zealand is more than 130km away from the sea, it is such an ingrained part of who we are."

This is one of the many lessons learnt during the nation's annual Sea Week.


New Zealand co-ordinator and Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans Festival Director, Cinzah Merkens, says the aim is to "give the ocean a voice".

"Bringing in the issues and stories and solutions around the ocean and bringing it into the streets."

As Sea Week ends with a tour of these giant murals, organisers gear up for the mural festival - back by popular demand for a second year.

Richard Edwards, who teaches at the Eastern Institute of Technology and has an interest in the ocean, says he has seen the murals around town.

"Being able to learn a bit more about them has been really good."

Mr Merkens says one of the murals depicts a "one-to-one scale, life size" version of a blue whale.

From across the road it simply looks like a whale, "but when you drive past along the street, or walking, then you can see all the little items in there, and there's everything from household items like toothbrushes to cigarette lighters".

Organised by not for profit PangeaSeed Foundation, the festival has previously been held in Los Angeles, Vietnam, Mexico and Sri Lanka.

Napier City Council has previously given $30,000 to help bring the international artists to Napier, and sponsors have chipped in for other costs.

Mr Merkens says: "They become powerful educational tools, today we gave this tour and I've spoken to lots of other people that have gotten in touch from different primary schools and intermediate schools who have included this in their curriculum."

Twenty murals will be added to the 29 painted last year - adding vibrancy to Napier's landscape - and a reminder for us to treasure the ocean.

The festival runs from 19 to 26 March.

Made with funding from