It’s been great to get back involved in the New Zealand Youth Delegation since joining the steering committee this year. We have just opened applications for our delegation to the next round of UN climate talks in Paris this November and December. Check it out!
Applications close 22 May.
It has also been great to return to our 2011 branding and design. I’m really happy to see the kōwhaiwhai that my partner (now, not then!) Rachel arranged in conjunction with our designer, Sam Judson, and tangata whenua advisor, Peter Boyd.
With the kōwhaiwhai fully in use across all our branding, we’ve finally also had the chance to write a summary of what Peter told us about our design on our website. Every kōwhaiwhai tells a story, and it’s great to be able to share ours:
That pattern you see down the sides of our website and within our logo is the New Zealand Youth Delegation kōwhaiwhai. Aotearoa New Zealand is a multicultural nation, but the relationship between tangata whenua (the people of the land; that is, Māori) and tangata tiriti (the people of the Treaty, pakeha; that is, European colonists) plays a huge role in New Zealand’s history and culture. We could not claim to speak for Aotearoa’s future without recognising tangata whenua, tikanga Māori, and – for us especially – kaitiakitanga.
Every kōwhaiwhai should be unique. When we set out to design our kōwhaiwhai in 2011, we knew that we needed to work with tangata whenua to create a kōwhaiwhai that both reflected the Delegation and respected tikanga Māori. Peter Boyd of the Manukau Institute of Technology kindly advised us.
- The central manawa (heart) line shows a connection to past, present and future; to our ancestors; and to where all our delegates have come from.
- The continuously unfurling koru (fern fronds) show sustainability and continuity. In the context of the mangōpare, they are also a bit like shark’s teeth. There’s always the young and new coming through to replace the old, just as our delegation renews every year – and represents the young!
- The two large koru at the end of one branch together form a mangōpare, a hammerhead shark. Mangōpare have connotations of persistence, leadership, strength, bravery and unrelenting determination – qualities we seek and foster in our delegates. They are warriors who don’t give up. Mangōpare will keeping thrashing even after they are killed.
- Our kōwhaiwhai is one of few to carry both water and land elements, so encompasses all parts of Aotearoa’s physicaly environment.