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Start date set for NZ’s largest mural

An artwork believed to the biggest single mural in New Zealand will begin taking shape on Hamilton’s Anglesea St in the first week of the new year.

The stark, 180m-long concrete wall below Wintec in the central city, formally named Te Koopuu Mania o Kirikiriroa, will be transformed by three local artists, creating a unique mural which pays homage to the city’s Maaori heritage.

The finished piece will tell a story about the site, which was once a hub for cultivation, learning and ceremony, and a vantage point for observing the stars. It will also weave together visual representations of the Waikato River, native birds and Matariki.

The artists are Poihakena Ngaawati (Waikato Tainui), Hana Maihi (Ngaati Mahanga) and Te Haunui Tuna (Ngaati Tuuhoe). While well-known as individual artists, the group have joined forces for the first time as Te Whētū Collective.

They were chosen after a public call for artists to apply was made earlier in the year.

Hamilton City Councillor Ryan Hamilton was a key proponent of the project and is eager to see it come to fruition. “The new mural will totally transform this part of the central city,” he says.

“It’s a canvas that’s been waiting to be brought to life for some time. However, because of its size and prominence, it was important we had the right mix of people involved at all stages of the process.

“I’m pleased the stars have aligned and I’m excited to see the Te Whētū Collective’s vision realised next month.

“The huge scale of the work is what sets this mural apart – it will be vast, it will tell an important story and it will look incredible.”

The Council is grateful to the many generous people who have helped realise what is a long-awaited ambition for many Hamiltonians.

The project is wholly funded by donations raised by the Beyond Tomorrow Trust of both cash and in-kind support and is estimated to cost around $100,000.

The wall will start being prepped from 7 January 2020, with painting expected to take three weeks to complete (weather permitting). The footpath and northbound lane nearest the footpath will be closed while the painting is in progress. The Council thanks Hamiltonians in advance for their patience and understanding when navigating the area through this period.

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