Creative Kāpiti Project:

Tohorā Community Art Installation Project

Project Lead: Jenna-Lea Philpott
Project contact:
Project Status: Delivery
Start Date: November, 2021
Delivery Date: September, 2022
Sponsors: Sculpture Symposium Trust, Kāpiti Creative Communities Scheme, Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board,
Our oceans, rivers and waterways are increasingly clogged with rubbish, washing up along the Kāpiti Coast and on to Kāpiti Island, the hero of the district’s tourism strategy.  Art is a great way to create environmental awareness and spark conversation about how we as humans can change our habits, be they large or small. This epic community art installation project brings art, science, business and community together, and also commemorates the 30 year anniversary of Kapiti Marine Reserve in 2022. Read more in this NZ Herald article.
How can you be involved and support this project?
  • sponsor or donate to the project. Please contact or phone 022 615 3669 for further information.
  • share this website page and/or share the dedicated Tohorā Facebook page
  • host an exhibition in 2023. The installation can be exhibited in its entirety or in sections – a wonderful way for your business, school or community organisation to show your support.

Phase 1 – complete
Ten community art workshops were held from November 2021 – September 2022, led by creative director and environmental artist, Hamish Macaulay. Importantly, the materials used were diverted from landfill and from the marine environment with some donated by a range of businesses in the community as well. Collected waste materials from NZ Litter Intelligence Citizen Science Surveys conducted along the Kāpiti Coast mainland on Kāpiti Island were used to make the art and displayed as part of the exhibition. In addition, 15kgs of plastic waste sourced and cleaned from a Waste Free Kāpiti trial at Otaihanga Landfill was used in the art making, along with large donated television boxes, left over paint and more.

Elements of marine and seabird species were created by students at Paraparaumu School and Kāpiti Art Studio, with the three large tohorā (southern right whale) and sea strata made by members of the public, to commemorate its journey along the Kāpiti Coast.


Phase 2 – complete

The exhibition was presented in the Creative Manaaki Gallery at Kiwibank Paraparaumu with a celebration with all project participants and the public held on 5 October, 2022.  As part of the exhibition and with support from the Guardians of Kapiti Marine Reserve, underwater video footage and a large map of the Reserve were displayed, along with examples of waste materials washed up on the coast and collected by volunteers undertaking the regular NZ Litter Intelligence Citizen Science Surveys.
Phase 3 – in development

The exhibition will be toured to business and community spaces including schools, to continue the conversation about the effects of human behaviour and the small and large things we can do to reduce impact on the Kapiti Marine Reserve and the coastal environment.  This could also add value to the Enviroschools programme.

Thank you to our Phase 1 and 2 project funders who helped to make this project possible. 
Sculpture Symposium Trust
Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board
Kāpiti Creative Communities Scheme
Thank you to our amazing range of project partners – a team effort!
Guardians of Kāpiti Marine Reserve
Kiwibank Paraparaumu
Waste Free Kāpiti
Big Mac Slabs Creative Centre
Books & Co
Kāpiti Food Fair