10 Mar 2014

Iwi wants to increase visual presence

7:58 am on 10 March 2014

Lower North Island local authorities are being accused of failing to represent tangata whenua in their emblems and signage in Wellington.

A Te Atiawa cultural advisor says his tribe needs to increase its visual presence in the capital including the Hutt Valley, but it also wants local councils to reflect a true Treaty partnership by including Taranaki cultural symbols in their logos.

Kura Moeahu acknowledges there are carved totem poles standing around city, and a large image of Mount Taranaki and the three Raukura feathers at the Westpac stadium, but local councils need to embrace tribal symbols in their branding.

He says his tribe wants to make bolder statements of who they are as the mana whenua iwi in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Mr Moeahu questions why the Raukura (plume of white feathers) which is an important symbol to Taranaki descendants - can't be seen on every front window in Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt.

He also asks why the Raukura can't be incorporated into the logos of the three city councils in its tribal territory, and even on the front page of the Dominion Post newspaper.

The Te Atiawa man says if Wellington authorities want to demonstrate what it means to be a real Treaty partner, then it is time to adopt the Raukura.