The Green Cross represents pasture, the forest, Nature and recalls the Southern Cross constellation. The Green Cross also recalls the Cross of St. George, the flag of England a reminder of the English colonial roots. The white background symbolises Aotearoa, the land of the land white cloud, and represents Maori heritage . The Green Cross on the white background also sums up the unification of Maori and Pakeha around Christian values and the universal values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The green colour and the symmetry of the cross also suggests harmony both with one another and with the natural world. The colour white represents peace and justice. The colour green represents the strength of Nature and our agricultural industry.
The design is both very old and very new. Very old because it recalls the Maori discovery and the European arrival. It is new because no other country possess such a design. The symbols are familiar yet unexpected for New Zealanders as it is departure from the traditional fern and Southern Cross stars.