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The story behind our logo

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The story behind our logo

It is a story of the land and of the people who choose Tairāwhiti as their place to live. This logo has an intimate connection to Tairāwhiti as a region and community.  It is steeped in cultural heritage relevance that touches all corners of the cultural diversity that gives out place to live, work and play its very own unique character.

Tairāwhiti - meaning the coast (tai) where the sun (rā) shines (whiti).   

The sun

The sun is the primary icon of the region.  Tairāwhiti - in this case rā is a shortened version of the word rangi, which can mean day, sky, heavens, heavenly realm, weather, air or melody.  Rangi is a shortened version of the word Ranginui and Ranginui is the traditional Māori creation god the Sky Father.

The sun has always made an easy worldwide and cross-cultural connection.  It is new each day and as such is always fresh; reborn; it denotes a new start; a new beginning; and the Tairāwhiti, the "first to see the sun".sun part of logo

The sun also stands for longevity and is forever constant.  It is dependable, energising, life-giving, healthy and clean.

The burnt orange colour is a sunrise colour and makes reference to ata hāpara or the dawn when the sun first peeps over the horizon. It is the colour of the new day.

The 7 rays of the sun in this logo parallel each of the district’s 7 electoral wards and the semi-circle of the sun is council itself. The shape of the rays recognises the region’s strong ocean-going navigation heritage as boat and waka silhouettes.

The water

Water, in all its forms, is vital to life and another primary icon of the region.  The water in this logo is active, rolling like a set of waves on the shore or flowing like a river across the landscape.  It has direction and purpose about it and touches on the themes inherent in the strategic visioning of council.

water part of logoAs waves, this icon highlights the district’s geographical fame and lifestyle.  As a river it talks of our hinterland bringing its bounty to the port and the sea, and to the rest of the world.  As a river it also gives recognition to the communities that form around each of our district’s great river systems and unites each of them at our shared shoreline.

This form also represents land.  The top part is a horizon line that curves around to form East Cape and winds down our coast line forming headlands and bays as it goes.  The stylised koru shapes within these headlands and bays are our communities that have based themselves between the hill country and the sea. The blue colour used here is a green-blue based on the ocean colours found on our coast and here at Gisborne Port. 

Maori pattern 

The m​​eaning behind the design - Piritahi Tairāwhiti​

The foundation design elements and concepts which form the overall design are drawn from the koru, the koiri and the mangopare motif - design elements which are featured in the current Gisborne District Council design.

The understandings and values of these individual elements (growth, leadership, guardianship) are woven within the vision and strategic directions of the Gisborne District Council:

Manaaki Tangata: putting our people, our community first

Kaitiakitanga: working with our community to look look after our environment

Kia ahureate kokiri: leading in innovation, performance and delivery of our work

Kia auaha te ahumoni: being financially smart and strong

While these new designs have foundations of traditional concepts that of the previous Maori motif, this revitalised approach highlights a direction of innovation, creativity and leadership... moving towards a vibrant and flourishing pathway for our community.​