Sunset Primary School in Rotorua has unveiled its award-winning mural, titled Ki Tua (Seek Beyond), as one of 10 winners in Keep New Zealand Beautiful's Resene Wall Worthy Competition 2021.
The mural was painted by artist Taumata Solomon, with pupils and the community consulting on the design.
Located on the wall of the school hall, the mural portrays an empowering message for students highlighting the journey their ancestors made and encouraging them to pursue excellence, just as their ancestors did - "If I can dream it, I can realise it".
Principal Eden Chapman said because their playground was open to the community outside school hours, it was important they provided an attractive environment that everyone was invested in keeping beautiful.
"The mural depicts three powerful Māori and Polynesian male role models for our students to admire. Our ākonga love their culture, basketball and music and they love our mural.
"We are so delighted to have an amazing piece of artwork from Taumata Soloman for our tamariki and community to enjoy," Chapman said.
The Resene Wall Worthy Competition, part of the Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, ran from February to April, with schools, early childhood centres and youth groups around New Zealand asked to submit a mural design that celebrated their local history or a nature conservation theme that could then be painted in their community.
From the submissions received, 15 designs were chosen as finalists and put to public vote at the start of April.
More than 6900 votes were received, and the 10 winners were chosen.
The winning schools receive a $750 Resene voucher for paint and materials, a drop cloth and high-vis vests as well as a donation of $500 for murals completed by the end of Term 4, 2021.
Keep New Zealand Beautiful chief executive Heather Saunderson said every year they looked forward to running the programme.
"With the support of Resene, we've seen our Wall Worthy Competition growing in popularity. This year it's been very inspiring to see the calibre of mural designs from schools, early childhood centres and community groups from around the country, each showcasing either their local heritage or an environmental message.
"Research shows the positive impact mural art has on surrounding communities – from increasing civic pride to reducing antisocial behaviour such as littering and graffiti," Saunderson said.
"Congratulations Sunset Primary School on completing your mural - we love to see the winning entries come to life and your little part of New Zealand painted beautiful."