Fresh From The Field — Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa – By Gusto Design
Fresh from the Field is a weekly article series sharing the fresh and inspiring work of our New Zealand Design Assembly community.
Informed by research insights and te ao Māori concepts, the Gusto team developed a fresh and innovative visual identity for New Zealand Walking Access Commission, now known as Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa.
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After a statutory review, the New Zealand Walking Access Commission (NZWAC) realised their name failed to represent them properly. Not their thinking, the extent of their services, or their responsibilities. As a Crown agency working with communities and across statutory boundaries, they enable people to connect with the whenua. Put simply, they create and sustain public access to the outdoors. Connecting people, connecting places. But their old name only referenced ‘walking’, which is just one way to use the tracks and trails under their care.
NZWAC took this as an opportunity to conduct a full review of their brand identity. Including their name. To create a new brand that better reflects their purpose and incorporates te reo Māori and tikanga within their agency.
The Design Response
The new name and brand development of Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa was a successful collaboration between the Commission itself, our Gusto design team, Write (plain english communication consultants) and Tūtira Mai (cultural competency and cultural advisory consultants). Write conducted the research phase, gathering and analysing key stakeholder and target audience feedback. Tūtira Mai NZ provided expert cultural advice and suggestions for a new te reo Māori name for the Commission: Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa. Informed by research insights and te ao Māori concepts, our Gusto team were able to develop a fresh and innovative visual identity for their new brand.
We worked closely together throughout the entire process. From the initial research and naming phase, the concept creation, through to the final brand outcome and design of a new suite of branded collateral. Each step of the way we listened, collected feedback and learned from each other. Taking the time to understand what this new brand needed to be to truly capture this government agency, and its goal to protect and enhance public access to the outdoors for everyone in Aotearoa. Herea te whenua ki te tangata, tangata ki te whenua – Bind the people to the land and the land to the people.
What made this project really sing was that all partners involved were communication experts in their specific field. Without Write, we wouldn’t have had the invaluable information available, which they collected in early research and focus groups with the Commission, to build this robust brand that reflects Herenga ā Nuku so well. Partnering with Wairangi Jones, Te Ureroa Flavell and Cheri Waititi from Tūtira Mai enabled us as information designers to create a brand grounded in te ao Māori. One that visually responds to the Commission’s purpose: to enable more people to connect with the whenua.
Read more about each of our specialist roles and involvement in this project, here:
The Design Team
The Client Team
Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa, the Outdoor Access Commission (formerly, the New Zealand Walking Access Commission — Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa)
Tūtira Mai NZ – https://www.tutiramai.co.nz/
Write – https://write.co.nz/