Helping to create a more cohesive Aotearoa, New Zealand

Visual identity and collateral to help enable a more cohesive Aotearoa New Zealand, based on the Royal Commission Report into the 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks.

Te Korowai Whetū logo consisting of a graphic representing a korowai (cloak) wrapping around. On the right side of the graphic are the four stars representing the Southern Cross. The logo is purple in colour sitting on a light mustard coloured background.

Following the Christchurch mosque attacks, the Royal Commission of Inquiry generated over 30 recommendations for various government departments. The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) led a comprehensive government-wide approach to social cohesion through community consultation, and developing and delivering a range of social cohesion products.

This visual identity system and subsequent resources were created to enable this initiative.

  • Visual identity development
  • Cross-cultural design development
  • Collateral design
Te Korowai Whetū whakatauāki, its meaning and how it translates into our brand name, Te Korowai Whetū.

Our first step was to establish our core messaging platform.
We referred to the very foundations that our country was formed on, and our the guidance we established to help enable us to live and thrive together – Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Our core message has a duality that reflects Te Tirirti o Waitangi kaupapa – acknowledging both the rights of Tāngata Whenua (People of the Land) and Tāngata Tiriti (People of the Treaty.

In practice, this means that the messaging grows first from recognition of the whenua we live upon, the guardians of that land, then grows outward to include and embrace all cultures of Aotearoa. The resulting work is built upon the universal values of kaitianga/care, mana/respect and whanaungatanga/inclusion.

Our core logo graphic is a visual representation of our core messaging.

Description of the Te Korowai Whetū logo graphic

Our single whetū element represents an individual person and the whetū imagery forms the basis of our core messaging. The flowing whetū patterns – reflecting the ideas of diversity, inclusiveness and a flowing korowai (cloak) – provide a backdrop to our visual identity system.

Woven x shapes on light yellow background

Our brief for imagery creation was very tight and was not able to include photography. We wanted to create imagery that reflected inclusiveness, warmth and whanaungatanga (connection), and also struck a balance between being descriptive and neutral. Our answer came from an approach to illustration that reflects a group of people who could belong to a wide range of ethnicities, ages and communities, and uses one continuous, connected line to create the entire image.

Line drawing of four people sitting, from behind. On the far left is a woman wearing a hijab, and to her right is a man with fuzzy hair, a woman who could be middle age and another man wearing a baseball hat.
Image of three Te Korowai Whetu resource covers including Community info sheet, Baseline Report and What we've heard
Image of pages from the Te Korowai Whetu brand guides manual