Fresh From the Field — He Korowai Oranga by FLY

1 year ago by

Ahead of our upcoming Te Ao Māori and Designing a Culturally Authentic Aotearoa events in Auckland and Wellington, we invited workshop facilitator Johnson Mckay, to share some recent mahi. Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health commissioned Fly to bring He Korowai Oranga to life. The strategy delivers long term healthy futures for Māori, Johnson and his team at Fly crafted an intelligent, elegant, yet simple design solution with warmth and humanity.

The Design Response:

The design system for He Korowai Oranga expresses the strength, character and beauty of a woven cloak. The korowai is a style of cloak with hukahuka, or tassels, that add an energising sense of movement and life to the cloak. This represents the mana of each person, whānau and community embraced within the korowai, enrobed in a fulness of hauora, waiora and whānau ora.

Inspired by this, Fly created a simple representation of the hukahuka tassels. This element expresses strength and vitality through a simple, yet dynamic shape, used flexibly and consistently throughout the collateral.
The arrangement of the hukahuka also represents the mana motuhake of each hapū and iwi to define pathways and frameworks that meet their unique needs. The cover of the two reports has the hukahuka arranged into Te Ara Wai pattern, a representation of pathways towards an aspirational future.

The name of the first report, Whatua refers to weaving and the weaving together of the many voices that have shaped the He Korowai Oranga strategy. Muka, extracted from the harakeke plant is woven into korowai. Every voice is woven in, bound tight and represented within the body of the cloak.
The name of the second report, Whakamaua refers to taking hold of the goals, securing pae ora, healthy futures for Māori. The korowai is to be worn, to experience health and vitality under its covering.

He Korowai Oranga is a uniquely Māori approach to health and wellbeing. For that reason, it needed a uniquely Māori expression. As Aperahama Taonui said in 1840:

“E ngā rangatira, whakarongo mai! Kaua e ūwhia Te Tiriti i te kahu o Ingarangi, engari kai mau anō ki tōu ake kahu, te kahukiwi o Aotearoa nei!”

This is an encouragement for Māori to not be cloaked with the cloak of England, but to put on the unique cloak of Māori identity.

Nō reira, he korowai oranga mō ngā iwi katoa, kia tū hauora ai tātou katoa.




Client: Cheree Shortland-Nuku, Kiri Dargaville, Clyde
Creative Director – Johnson McKay
Design Director – Tim Hansen
Design – Storm Smith, Jason Fantonial, Malachi McKay
Account Director – Adeline Chua, Tanya Smith

Photo of Woman wearing Korowai: Joe Hockley


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