Far North District Council is changing its Māori name and logo ahead of Waitangi Day.
The council’s 35-year-old logo is being revamped to include the area’s traditional indigenous name Te Kaunihera o Te Hiku o te Ika.
“We’re proud here in the Far North to be Te Hiku o te Ika – the tail of the fish and the birthplace of the nation, Far North Kahika (Mayor) Moko Tepania said.
“I’m particularly excited to make this announcement ahead of Waitangi Day commemorations,” Tepania said
The Far North has New Zealand’s highest number of reo Māori speakers per head of population.
Te Kaunihera o Te Hiku o te Ika will lead the name of the council in new branding, which will also include the words Far North District Council.
Tepania says the outgoing 35-year-old council logo was created when four counties and two boroughs were amalgamated to become Far North District Council in 1989.
That logo featured the now-familiar blue and green koru design and included the phrase Te Kaunihera o Tai Tokerau ki te Raki.
Tepania said Te Kaunihera o Tai Tokerau ki te Raki was not a traditional reo Māori name reflecting “where we live”.
He said the change was the council walking the talk in its goal to boost the use of te reo Māori within the organisation.
FNDC’s Te Kūaka – Te Ao Māori Committee adopted a new reo Māori and tikanga policy last year which was adopted by the council in September.
He said the council’s new approach to te reo Māori inclusion showed the importance placed on the country’s indigenous language.
Tepania said council iwi partners had voiced support for a logo refresh.
“I’m really proud we are refreshing the council logo and restoring the indigenous name for our area: Te Kaunihera o Te Hiku o te Ika – the tail of the fish.
“Although it’s a small gesture, it’s a gesture to show we are walking the talk.”
He said the new logo was based on best-practice design principles and bilingual guidelines.
The refresh did not alter the council’s legal name – Far North District Council. It would have no financial impact for ratepayers beyond staff time required for the redesign.
The new logo will be rolled out first to digital platforms including the council website. It will be applied to signs and stationery, when these are created or replaced as normal.
The update follows similar changes by local authorities such as Hastings, Stratford and Tasman district councils plus Upper Hutt City Council.
FNDC’s logo change comes at a time the Government is winding back the use of te reo in its public service.
As part of its coalition agreement with New Zealand First, the National Party agreed all public services would have their primary name in English, except for those specifically related to Māori.