“Ata – Pito One”, a stunning new mural in Britannia Street, Petone, is the first of many murals that will be adorning walls around Petone telling the story of this historic village.

On Wednesday, 15 July, “Ata – Pito One” was blessed in a ceremony by Kaanihi Butler-Hare from local Iwi, Te Ati Awa, and Stewart Irwin from Petone’s Salvation Army.  A plaque on the front of the building explains the story of the mural: the meeting of two cultures in 1840 and the dawn of a new age.  This will not be the only engagement with local Iwi, Te Ati Awa, to bring stories to life of how this village evolved to where we are today.

Robbie Schneider, the main driver for this mural who also just happens to be a co-owner of the building the mural is on, thanked sponsors Succession First, Pak’n Save Petone, La Bella Italia, Bob Scott Retirement Village, Mitre 10 MEGA Petone, Lifetime, JSP, and Hutt City Council for their support to bring this story to life.  The ceremony was attended by local politicians, sponsors, and the artist Theo Arraj and his family.  Theo, from the Kapiti Coast, has strong ties to Petone as his mother’s family have lived in Pito One for over 63 years: https://www.theoarraj.com/

Hellen Swales, Co-ordinator of the Jackson Street Programme (JSP) says “Our vision for Pito One is to be able to tell our story.  We want to do this visually on the sides of many of our buildings.  Using the road map that the city of Dunedin has developed as our template, we see this as an exciting initiative for the JSP and local businesses to get behind and support.  This sits well with the fact that we are the only heritage shopping precinct in New Zealand, we are known for a number of “firsts” that have been acknowledged as starting in Pito One, and we believe this will draw many people to our village.  As the murals grow, the JSP will develop the map and the stories behind each of the murals.  This will become a tourist attraction bringing families and visitors to Jackson Street.  The JSP also see it being used by the local schools for the heritage and cultural aspect of teaching the students about their own local history”.

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