When we started the rebranding process, we set out with the intention of developing a bicultural identity that did not rely on translation. We contracted Māori consultants Te Amokura to engage with mana whenua to understand what physical activity, and our value proposition, means to them in a te ao Māori sense, and specifically in relation to their place in the Wellington region.

We wanted to develop a whakataukī unique to us and our region, to sit alongside our value proposition as we began exploring what new names and a new identity for our organisation could be.

Te Amokura and our Iwi and Wairarapa Partnership Manager spoke with Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Rangitane o Wairarapa, Te Atiawa /Taranaki Whānuiki te Upoko o te Ika, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Whakarongotai, and Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai.

Each iwi shared their own unique stories and through the common themes that emerged from these five separate conversations, a whakataukī has been developed. The common themes were:

  • Te Whanganui a Tara is surrounded by water (tributaries, coastal), it is the Wellington way of life.
  • Water and environment have natural healing elements for body, mind and soul.
  • Health should be viewed holistically. From a Māori perspective, the natural surroundings are what is used to heal whānau and communities – healthier minds create healthier lives.
  • The multiple tributaries in the Wellington region is what connects communities through history. The flow of water from all the regional tributaries eventually connect at the Wellington harbour.
  • The importance of water in the region for connectivity, sustenance and life.
  • The importance to wellbeing and joy that physical activity brings, and the importance of place and the whenua.


Te Amokura identified that the tributary migration could be related to health and community interaction - heading towards one outcome which is improving the wellbeing of the Wellington communities. They then wrote three whakataukī that reflected these themes and we chose:

Kia rau nuku, kia rau wai, kia rau ora.


There are many tributaries that flow through the Greater Wellington region. As the water migrates to the Wellington harbour it connects with communities, ending at one destination. Water is symbolic of movement, connection and good health. Physical activity is like the movement of water, through this we can transform the wellbeing of our communities.

Translation of key words:

Rau = plentiful, increase

Nuku = active, moving

Wai = water and represents the tributaries that connect the Wellington region

Ora = life and joy

Read more about our rebrand process: