In Māori tradition, Aotea is one of the canoes made from a giant tree in Hawaiki that Māori used to migrate to New Zealand.
Using this as inspiration to create an abstract canoe or waka-like shape, the simplified form represents the concept of migration / travel and navigation, reflecting our location, whilst remembering our heritage and indigenous origins.
As an island nation the significance of watercraft has long held an important place in our history and founding stories.
The angle of the four lines symbolises the commonly referenced ‘on the edge of the world’ description defining our location.
The use of four lines represents the main stars of the Southern Cross (Māhutonga). Black is our traditional colour, making the design unique and distinguishable from other flags. White represents ‘the land of the long white cloud’, our location.
Like many concepts, it will represent different things to different people, but most importantly, it respects the journey we have been on and leaves space for the journey we continue together.