Pania’s Lighthouse

by Aaron Glasson

Napier, NZ – March 2016

Photograph By ©Tre Packard


Finding This Mural

On the Perfume Point Lighthouse

46 Nelson Quay, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand

Google Map

Story Behind This Mural


Pania of the Reef is a historical Maori story of love and respect for the ocean that has become one of Napier’s most well-known symbols and is retold throughout New Zealand. Pania was a sea-maiden who married a local man, their shape-shifting son Moremore can be seen today in the form of sea animals that serve as an omen, and Pania’s body now makes up Napier’s most famous reef. Aaron worked closely with local Maori and the family of Pania to create his mural that depicts the story of her life, painting her decedents in the role Pania and creating a contemporary interpretation of this meaningful history.

Artist Statement

"I chose to depict an important local history titled "Pania of the Reef," the story of the formation of a Napier reef that is full of love and appreciation for the marine environment. Though the story is known throughout New Zealand, the only public visual representation of Pania in Napier is a statue made in the 1950's and small mural on the outskirt of town. My intention was to reinvigorate the story and give an alternative representation than that of the famous statue."