Taumarunui recently became the sixth Farmlands store to receive a HeART of the Community piece of art.
The huge mural depicts one of the many river steamers that frequented the Whanganui and Ongarue rivers during the early 1900s. The river steamers were used for transporting people, livestock and supplies to the surrounding districts.
Ruapehu District Mayor Don Cameron expressed his thanks to Farmlands and Mr G for the mural dedicated to the community of Taumarunui. “The mural is very important for everyone but particularly important for Taumarunui,” he says. “We’re extremely proud and very lucky to have this.”
Mr G says it was an honour to connect with the people of Taumarunui and hear their stories. “This river is so significant and important, it is an absolute privilege to paint it and capture the beauty,” he says. “This is what we love.”
The design for each HeART of the Community artwork is created with help from the community and Farmlands staff – and for Taumarunui it was the Whanganui River that had special significance. This significance shines through in the mural.
The 290 kilometre Whanganui River is the second longest river in the North Island, after the Waikato. The river has spectacular scenery in its middle reaches, north of Pipiriki, where it passes through a series of narrow gorges set amidst lush native forest.
The Whanganui River made headlines recently when it was announced that former minister Dame Tariana Turia and educator Turama Hawira will act as the “human faces” of the river to ensure its rights are protected. This followed the world-first decision made earlier this year, which granted the Whanganui River its own legal identity, giving it the same rights as a person.