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Nurturing learning through colour and design

07 May 2024

A new mural, titled ‘Poipoia te kākano kia puawai’ was recently unveiled at the Creative Corner Early Learning Centre in Parkside, Timaru.

The early education centre was one of ten winners in last year’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Resene Wall Worthy Competition, which gives youth groups, schools and ECEs from across the country the opportunity to paint a mural with an environmental theme or message, to help beautify an area at their school or in their local community.

The mural, which wraps around a large outside wall of the centre’s play area, has a double meaning in its name Poipoia te kākano kia puawai which, when translated, means ‘nurture the seed and it will bloom’.

The artwork shows two children, the older supporting the younger, involved in planting and nurturing new growth, with the greenery of the mural growing larger towards the right of the mural – just as the Kaiako (teachers) of the centre nurture and encourage their tamariki to grow to their full potential.

“As we are an early childhood centre we know that the first 1000 days are very important – we are laying the foundations for the rest of their lives”, says Erica Hamilton, teacher at Creative Corner Early Learning Centre. The flow of the mural also “represents our growth as a teaching team and our journey learning about sustainability.” 

The design includes depictions of native Kākā (endangered) and Pūkeko (protected), which also represent the different rooms at the early education centre. Erica says the mural also includes views of the ocean and a cabbage tree, both of which are an integral part of Timaru’s history, scenery, and residents’ day-to-day lives, as well as a Kōwhai tree to symbolise personal growth.

“As the details of the mountains (Aoraki), beach (Caroline Bay), cabbage tree, Kākā, and Pūkeko emerged, there was more and more interest into what was happening,” says Erica. “There have been some great questions and comments from the tamariki as the mural has slowly grown, and hopefully it will continue to spark conversation!”

“We would love to instil a sense of responsibility and aroha in our tamariki before they leave for school”, says Erica, “with the hope that they will develop a lifelong love for our beautiful New Zealand environment.”

Erica says, “a big thanks to the helpful team at Resene Timaru; the Kaiako, tamariki, and whānau at Creative Corner Early Learning Centre and the local community for their support!”

The mural is located at the Creative Corner Early Learning Centre in Cain Street, Timaru. The Resene paint colours used included Resene Hemisphere and Resene Governor Bay for the sky, Resene Green and Resene Surfs Up for the sea, Resene Parsley, Resene Middle Earth and Resene Midnight Moss for the greenery and Resene Jalapeno, Resene Black, Resene Lone Ranger and Resene Bronze for the wildlife.

About the Resene Wall Worthy Competition

The Resene Wall Worthy Competition, which is part of Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Paint New Zealand Beautiful programme, gives early childhood centres, schools and youth groups the chance to express themselves by communicating an environmental or conservation theme on a wall in their community. The competition helps teach children the importance of Keeping New Zealand Beautiful by getting them involved in creating the design and bringing it to life.

The winning schools and their regions are listed below, with their designs visible on the Keep New Zealand Beautiful website.

Published: 07 May 2024