Te Aro

pakiTara-toi art on the walls of Wellington's central Te Aro streets.

Garage Project Wild Brewery Workshop, Furness Lane

Cracked Ink

Garage project commissioned local street artist, Cracked Ink to depict the story and activity of the Wild Brewery (Craft Beer) Workshop. This is a story of native flora interacting with ancient fermentation methods and thriving in the urban environment of Te Aro.

Bond Street – Rita Angus mural

Elliot O’Donnell aka Askew One, 2019

This mural by street artist Askew One is based on a portrait photo of Rita Angus taken by artist Theo Schoon around 1947. It is on the west side of the Dominion Building on Bond Street in central Wellington. The project was initiated by street art advocate, illustrator and museologist Bruce Mahalski, who raised money through crowd funding, sponsorship, and funding from the Council. The major sponsor is Ryman Healthcare, which operates the Rita Angus Retirement Village in Kilbirnie, Wellington, and Resene Paints.


Kake Tonu Way mural

Joe McMenamin, 2018

Artist Joe McMenamin painted this mural at the entrance to Kake Tonu Way (formerly Boyd Wilson walkway) just off The Terrace near the top of Buller Street.
Joe designed the mural in partnership with students from Te Aro School, Victoria University, and the neighbouring residents. They wanted to brighten the walkway and encourage people to use it. When brainstorming ideas for the design the school students decided to change the name of the walkway to give it a positive identity. Kake Tonu means ever upwards.

Cuba Street and Swan Lane – Hold Tight

Kelly Spencer, Sean Duffell and Stephen Templer, 2017

Commissioned by Keep NZ Beautiful in partnership with the Council, this collaboration between artists Kelly Spencer, Sean Duffell and Stephen Templer resulted in this bee friendly mural with an environmental message. As Spencer explains, “Bees pollinate a third of everything we eat, and play a vital role in sustaining the planet’s eco-systems. The message 'Hold Tight' is asking the bee population to bare with us while we as humans work to realign ourselves with the World and repair the ongoing damages done.”

Eva and Leeds Street

Toby Morris and Andrew Steel, 2017

In conjunction with All Birds, Supreme Coffee, Wellington Chocolate Factory and Garage Project, illustrator Toby Morris and artist Andrew Steel were commissioned to create a mural to mark an eight-day festival for Wellington's creative and business communities. Celebrating those who like to do things differently, this work captures the elements making Wellington the coolest (and windiest!) little capital in the World.

Tory Street hoarding artwork

Ruth Thomas-Edmond and Kirsty Lillico, 2017

Wellington based artists Ruth Thomas-Edmond and Kirtsy Lillico collaborated on the design of this colourful work for the hoarding that boarders the site of the former Reading car park building (damaged in the November 2016 earthquake). The result is an engaging, playful, sculptural work, made from plywood and coloured perspex. Steel drums hold native plants, inbuilt seats provide resting points for shoppers and colourful portholes prove irresistible to curious eyes.

Wakefield Street hoarding — Nga Kakano: The Seeds

Johnson Witehira, 2017

This 70m long print on vinyl by Johnson Witehira features graphic representations of tūpuna Māori (Māori ancestors). These include the navigator Kupe and those who came with and after him, Kuramarotini, Toi, Whatonga, Reretua, Hotuwaipara, Tara-ika, Tautoki and Wakanui.
Developed in conjunction with Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika, Nga Kakano: The Seeds refers to an important Māori whakataukī (proverb), e kore au e ngaro he kākano i ruia mai I Rangiātea (I will not be lost, I will not perish, for I am a seed that was sown in Rangiātea) and can be read as a powerful expression of resilience – of whakapapa and of continuity.

Terrace Gardens on Flagstaff Hill (accessible from O’Reily Avenue off Boulcott Street) - Art in the Park 

Rachel Silver and Olivier Kenneybrew, 2016

Mosaiced and painted by Rachel Silver and Olivier Kenneybrew. Their work was informed and inspired by conversations with local residents. There is a lot of love for this space. The residents spoke mostly of it as a quiet, green sanctuary on the fringe of the city.

The project came about in response to residents wanting to reactivate the space, make it safer and encourage more people to go there.

Find out more about Art in the Park - community mural project.

Jessie Street

Phlegm, 2016

Internationally renowned British Street artist, Phlegm visited Wellington for five days in 2016 and created this large-scale artwork responding to the history of the building at the corner of Jessie and Taranaki street. The building, owned by Trevor Bettany, has been in his family since the 1930s when they were importing, servicing and maintaining cinema projectors. During the war the family reverse-engineered the tech from those early projectors to start making them locally. One of these hybrids is now in the Roxy, and it provides the inspiration for much of the imagery in this mural.

Jervois Quay - WAITUHI 2015 (under the City to Sea Bridge)

Wharehoka Smith, 2015

Wharehoka Smith designed this WAITUHI artwork during Matariki 2015. Wharehoka is a Taranaki-based artist and designer of Taranaki tūturu, Te Ati Awa, Ngā Ruahine Tau descent.This is the second iteration of WAITUHI. The first was realised by artist Johnson Witehira in 2014.

Wharehoka’s design for WAITUHI is divided into ten sections. From left is the Guardian Ngake and on the right the Guardian Whaataitai. Interwoven are Matariki, Iwi-Whakapapa Ranginui (Heaven), Papatuenuku (Earth/Whenua), Ruaumoko (Earth Quakes), Tiki (Human form celebrating / gardening), Manaia (human in side profile kite flying), Manu-Tukutuku (kite Keo the Wairua of Whaataitai).

The image draws on many traditional design elements like the Paatiki (flounder/diamond-shape), Niho-Taniwha (triangle/tooth of Taniwha), Poutama (step/access-to/action-of Atua), that have evolved from the Taniko Tukutuku Raranga Arts. Together these elements remind us of the ideals behind the Matariki traditions:

  • successful communities united and thriving through knowledge resources
  • sharing produce, work, play and lore
  • while displaying tolerance and acceptance of cultural differences.

Ruaumoko is the ever-present Taniwha/Atua in Whanganui-a-Tara korero who serves to keep the people humble prepared and alert.

WAITUHI 2015 - Wharehoka Smith video - YouTube

Lukes Lane, James Smith Tournament car park building

Pie Rats collective, 2012

Painted by 7 experienced street artists from the Pie Rats collective in collaboration with 9 creative youth from the Boys' and Girls' Institute (BGI). The colourful history of Lukes Lane has been expressed in a 24m-high, 9m-wide mural on the facade of the car park building that backs onto Lukes Lane. The mural is the 13th and largest Wellington mural to be supported by the Ministry of Justice, with help from the Council, as part of the STOP (stop tagging our place) campaign to reduce tagging and graffiti, through working with youth on street art projects.

Taranaki Street, the facade of the building opposite Te Aro Pa

Local Māori youth and led by father-and-son artists Bodhi and Ra Vincent, 2012
The mural celebrates the geographical and cultural history of this site, as well as the artists and young people who contributed to its creation. The design is based on kowhaiwhai patterns that emphasise the spirit of the building's proximity to coastal waters, and Māori as kaitiaki (guardians) of the land.

Civic Square – Ngā Kakano o Rangiātea

Reweti Arapere, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Tuwharetoa, 2018

‘E kore e ngaro nga kakano i ruia mai i Rangiātea’ - ‘The seed’s sown from Rangiātea will never be lost’

The title of this temporary artwork, Ngā Kakano o Rangiātea – on a section hoarding surrounding the Town Hall – acknowledges treasures passed down from our ancestors. The figures in the artwork depict Kaiaiterangi (sky walkers) and take the form of tiki. They acknowledge the past and present, male and female and the iwi that contributed to mana whenua in the wider Te Whanganui-a-Tara area. The figures also reference the animated movement of Kapa Haka performances, acknowledging Te Matatini, the Kapa Haka Festival that will be in Wellington from 20-24 February 2019. Ngā Kakano o Rangiātea visually activates this site and connects with and acknowledges the indigenous heritage of this area.

Reweti Arapere blends customary whakairo (carving) with contemporary art. His practice is inspired by Māoritanga (Māori culture) and street art, and his kaupapa (philosophy) as an artist considers how to keep Māori language and culture relevant for future generations, connecting people to their heritage and to each other.