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Why does Tauranga need public art

Tauranga is known for its natural beauty, and whilst we are grateful for that, we are striving for more.

Research is underway across Australasia to understand the impact of arts on communities, but it is widely believed that cities gain cultural, social, and economic value through public art. It reflects and reveals our society, adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness to our communities. Public art humanises the built environment and invigorates public spaces, often making them safer. It provides an intersection between past, present and future, between disciplines, and between ideas. Public art is freely accessible and, if done well, can be a huge drawcard for domestic and international tourism.

Why now

Led by Tauranga City Council, the imminent Te Manawataki o Te Papa development will transform the central city, presenting a once-in-a-generation opportunity to embed a significant body of public art into the city.

Over the next decade — working alongside mana whenua, local government, and other partners — we aim to use our artworks, and consumer activations built around them, to help create a city with vibrancy, personality, and global arts star-power.

Who will benefit

Great art draws a crowd, and we intend for this collection to be nationally recognised. Whilst this will be a brilliant addition to our city, we are more keen to deliver these contemporary art works for the enjoyment and enrichment of our local communities.

Our intention is for these works to become iconic Tauranga Moana landmarks, as well as help nourish creative spirit in our arts communities and inspire a love of all things creative in our younger generations.

If we do this right, the collection will pave the way for other local public art projects, all of which will contribute to a place for Tauranga at the forefront of contemporary art practice in Aotearoa.