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History In The Community

The Katikati murals

Situated in the Bay Of Plenty Region is the quaint township of Katikati along the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as the Mural Town of New Zealand. Driven by pride in their town’s success and a desire to put Katikati on the tourist map, the Open Air Art's Committee started the first of the town's murals in 1991. Katikati now has 37 works of public art in and around the main street ranging from murals, sculptures and carvings to a traditional Maori tukutuku wall panel.

The murals of Katikati are an interpretation of the town's history, of its pioneers and their vanished way of life. They demonstrate the town’s achievements and aim to serve as an inspiration for future development and growth. From the original three murals painted in 1991, the town now features over twenty magnificent paintings on the external walls of its public buildings. Katikati Open Air Art Inc. prides itself on creating the first Open Air Art Gallery in New Zealand. After more than ten years, the murals are an integral part of the town’s unique atmosphere and have helped it claim the title of ‘New Zealand's Most Beautiful Small Town’.

Detail of wall mural by Irene Tuscia-Falconer in Katikati, New Zealand (Photo © Sheila Griffiths)

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