Far North District Council has announced a change to its Māori name and logo in anticipation of Waitangi Day. The council, based in the Far North region of New Zealand, will now be known as Te Kaunihera o Te Hiku o te Ika, which translates to ‘The Council of The Tail of the Fish’. The decision is part of the council’s commitment to promote the use of te reo Māori, the country’s indigenous language.
Far North Kahikā, Mayor Moko Tepania, expressed pride in the council’s new name and logo. He stated that, as the birthplace of the nation, the Far North is also known as Te Hiku o te Ika. The region has the highest number of te reo speakers per capita in New Zealand, making the adoption of a Māori name and logo a significant step.
The council’s previous logo, in use for 35 years, featured the phrase ‘Te Kaunihera o Tai Tokerau ki te Raki’. However, this name did not accurately reflect the region, according to Tepania. The new logo, based on best-practice design principles and bilingual guidelines, will now prominently display Te Kaunihera o Te Hiku o te Ika alongside the words ‘Far North District Council’.
Tepania emphasized that the logo change is a small, yet meaningful, gesture to demonstrate the council’s commitment to indigenous language and culture. The council’s iwi partners have shown support for the refresh. While the new logo will be applied to digital platforms first, it will eventually be used on signs and stationery as they are updated or replaced.
Notably, the Far North District Council’s logo change coincides with the government’s decision to scale back the use of te reo in public services. As part of their agreement with New Zealand First, the National Party agreed that English would be the primary language for all public services, except those specifically related to Māori.
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