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Waikanae School

Region: Wellington

Art form: Visual Arts

Project name: Pepeha mo ngā tamariki i te kura o Waikanae Mural

Creative name: Ellen Coup

Project information: The kaupapa of this project is to further embed/acknowledge the heritage of our unique Te Reo me ona tikanga Māori at Waikanae School. This will be done by creating a collaborative mural that represents our Pepeha mo ngā tamariki i te kura o Waikanae and our cultural narrative. 

As part of our plan to grow Kaitiakitanga, we have been empowering tamariki in the school environment, enhancing personal well-being, and encouraging students in the guardianship of the local area. We have been beautifying our grounds and developing tuakana-teina. Our Enviro centre, sustainability focus, and gardens are developing well and being embedded in our school culture, and we would like to further enhance and honour our environment and feeling of Tūrangawaewae with a visual representation of our school pepeha: “Ko Kapakapanui te Maunga, Ko Waikanae te Awa, Ko Kāpiti te Motu, Ko Te Rau o Te Rangi te Moana, Ko Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai te iwi.”

As our school celebrates 125 years of age, the mural will be a reminder of our school value of whanaungatanga, bringing together generations of whānau. The project will help to celebrate our culture and unique identity; share our rich cultural history with our tamariki; further develop partnerships with the local marae to facilitate cultural learning opportunities; and explore the inseparable links between language, culture, and identity. Students will deepen their knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori and develop their own identities.

The process will begin with consulting our community and iwi around designs and images. The exact design and methods will be developed as part of our consultation, but we have budgeted to use small triangles of board, painted by each of our students and attached to the final mural, as one likely method. The art process will be collaborative across the school, with input into the design and painting. By involving our students in the creation of the mural, we hope to enhance their well-being, identity, and holistic connectivity to our school community, as well as develop artistic, creative habits and techniques alongside key competencies and our school values. The final mural will be on display at the school for years to come and will give each student at the school a sense of pride and personal achievement.

Project starting: July 2022

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