Uninspiring slogans

Current party slogans (or website headings):

  • National: Delivering for New Zealanders
  • Labour: A Fresh Approach
  • Greens: Great Together
  • NZ First: Stand with us.
  • ACT Party: A tax cut for every earner
  • United Future: Working to secure a Better Deal, For Future Generations
  • The Opportunities Party: Care. Think, Vote.

Nothing that grabs attention there. I think the last one is the most effective.

But how many votes come from the slogan? Does it matter?

The brand desired by few

Auckland City has a new slogan apparently – The City Desired by Many.

That sounds awful to me, and it seems to a lot of others. The price tag is awful too.

NZ Herald: Auckland’s new $500,000 slogan not so desired

Auckland council bureaucrats have spent $500,000 on a new city slogan…

The new brand is the work of the council’s promotion arm, Ateed.

…was worked on by 115 council staff over two years.

That’s almost 6 staff members per letter of the slogan – but that’s just the short version, there is more to it:

Its full title is Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland, The Place Desired by Many. Folklore has it that the people of Ngati Whatua o Orakei know Tamaki Makaurau as “Tamaki the place desired by many”.

Explaining is losing when it comes to slogans. That sort of thing is ok somewhere on Wikipedia, but it’s not exactly catchy.

There has been a somewhat dissatisfied reaction to this waste of time and money is

…which has already been condemned as “outrageous” by some councillors and does not have the support of new mayor Phil Goff.

Mayor Phil Goff has received an initial high-level briefing on aspects of Ateed’s Global Auckland rebranding project.

A spokeswoman said the rebranding or marketing of Auckland was not a project the mayor was interested in championing.

I’m not surprised.

Goff has promised a crackdown on council waste, greater scrutiny of council-controlled organisations (CCOs) such as Ateed and phasing out former mayor Len Brown’s slogan The World’s Most Liveable City.

I’m not surprised “the world’s most livable city” is being ditched, but switching to the most laughable slogan is not a joke.

Dick Quax said he was dumbfounded.

Councillor Desley Simpson, deputy chair of the finance committee, said the project was another example of where the council has to tighten the decision-making of CCOs, “when you can see a mile off it is not a priority for ratepayers”.

Said councillor Fletcher: “It is arrogance in the extreme. It is disrespectful to the ratepayer and a complete waste of money.”

Has the ‘brand’ has been chosen without the councillors input or approval?

Ateed accounts show $517,000 had been spent on Global Auckland to the end of June this year.

Documents leaked to the Herald show work on the brand project has included focus groups, interviews, surveys and social media. Advertising agency Colenso BBDO and brand gurus DNA were used. A total of 115 council and Ateed staff attended workshops.

Does the cost include internal staff costs or just external costs?

In a statement, Ateed boss Brett O’Riley confirmed that the literal meaning of Tamaki Makaurau, “the place desired by many”, had come through as a strong theme from the Global Auckland project but no final decision had been made on the proposition.

Decisions about how the research and narrative will be used will be made in consultation with the council and private sector, O’Riley said.

So they spent two years and half a million – so far – and don’t know what they are going to do with it?

No date has been set to reveal the brand.

It looks a bit revealed now. It looks like someone has blown the whistle on it. That may save more money being spent on it.

No wonder the Auckland City Council wants Government money for less important things like transport and housing.

This is the sort of ‘politically correct’ elitist committee driven bland waste of money that people in other parts of the world are fed up with and revolting about, but council staff are safe from being dumped by voters.

Aotearoa New Zealand?

There seems to be increasing use of the term ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’. I don’t have any issue with the concept of the term in general, but it seems to be creeping into official use. I’m not aware of any official designation of it, so it appears that some are trying to arbitrarily impose it without due process.

This was highlighted in a column by Fran O’Sullivan where she quoted the Race Relations Commissioner using it:

“I am Aotearoa New Zealand … te rangi tahu, together we grow” is in fact the slogan Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy chose as the theme for this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

I thought race relations would not try to impose an unofficial term and use due process to reach agreement on any change.

The Human Rights Commission website doesn’t use the term…

About This Site

This website is owned by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. The aim of this website is to promote and educate the New Zealand public on human rights in an accessible and user-friendly format.

…including on it’s Race Relations page but in a link there:

Race Relations Day 2014

Race Relations Day, 21 March,  marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is celebrated around the world. The 2014 theme is “I am Aotearoa New Zealand…te ranga tahi, together we grow.”

Dame Susan is Aotearoa New Zealand from NZ Human Rights on Vimeo.

Belonging and feeling connected is essential for a healthy society. This year’s theme explores the balance between having our own individual identities and the potential of a diverse and united collective.    It expresses that everyone here, no matter what their race or cultural background, belongs, and that there are many ways of being a New Zealander. If we understand and appreciate our differences we can grow together into an Aotearoa/New Zealand that is based on dignity and respect.

Complete the sentence “I am Aotearoa New Zealand because…” and share the different ways we can be New Zealanders.

It seems odd for the Race Relations Commissioner to arbitrarily use the term like this. She is likely to divide more than promote togetherness.

If it hasn’t been properly designated then ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’ looks like a slogan being imposed.

Aotearoa is generally stated as the Māori name for New Zealand although there seems to be doubt about it’s origin. It may have at one time just referred to the North Island.

The Constitution Act 1986 makes no mention of ‘Aotearoa’.

Greens use the term in their full name – The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand – and Green MPs frequently use the term (although abbreviate as per https://www.facebook.com/nzgreenparty).

A search of National’s website finds no official use of the term (or ‘Aotearoa’), there are only references to organisations who use ‘Aotearoa’ in their name.

Labour don’t prominently promote the term but use it in their Māori Development policy:

Labour acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa/New Zealand and accepts that Te Tiriti should be honoured in government, society and the family.

Māori hold a particular status as the indigenous people, tangata whenua of Aotearoa/New Zealand. That status is acknowledged by the United Nations and Labour supports formal recognition of this status.

But their use seems limited, as in their other Māori policy Te Reo Māori they use ‘New Zealand’ alone in English language paragraphs and ‘Aotearoa’ alone in Māori paragraphs.

A search of Labour’s website suggests sparse use:

Maiden speech – Jenny Salesa – New Zealand Labour Party

Oct 24, 2014  My family moved to Aotearoa New Zealand

Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies

Aug 17, 2014  … will take up the challenge to equip rangatahi with the skills they need to build a 
quality life in Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Nanaia Mahuta

Oddly the search summary of this quotes “this country AOTEAROA“…

Merry Christmas – New Zealand Labour Party

Dec 22, 2014  … a very industrious, hard-working family, and we need a government who is 
going to ensure that the ‘real workers’ of this country AOTEAROA, …

…but this links to a video message from Labour leader Andreww Little who doesn’t mention any version of a country name at all.

Something as fundamental to New Zealand as the country name (and flag and anthem) should be dealt with due process, and any change should involve proper consultation and official designation.

Aotearoa (from Wikipedia):

Aotearoa (Māori: [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa], originally used in reference to the North Island of New Zealand, is now the most widely known and accepted Māori name for the entire country.

Translation: The original derivation of Aotearoa is not known for certain. The common translation is “the land of the long white cloud”.


When Māori began incorporating the name Aotearoa into their lore is unknown.

After the adoption of the name New Zealand by Europeans, one name used by Māori to denote the country as a whole was Niu Tireni, a transliteration of New Zealand.

From 1845, George Grey, Governor of New Zealand, spent some years amassing information from Māori regarding their legends and histories. He translated it into English, and in 1855 published a book called Polynesian Mythology And Ancient Traditional History Of The New Zealand Race.

Thus died this Maui we have spoken of; but before he died he had children, and sons were born to him; some of his descendants yet live in Hawaiki, some in Aotearoa (or in these islands); the greater part of his descendants remained in Hawaiki, but a few of them came here to Aotearoa.

In the 19th century, Aotearoa was sometimes used to refer to the North Island only.

An example of that usage appeared in the first issue of Huia Tangata Kotahi, a Māori language newspaper published on 8 February 1893. It contained the dedication on the front page, “He perehi tenei mo nga iwi Maori, katoa, o Aotearoa, mete Waipounamu”, meaning “This is a publication for the Māori tribes of Aotearoa and the South Island.

Regardless of it’s origin and historic usage Aotearoa is accepted as a Māori description applying to the whole of New Zealand now – but ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’ seems to have no official designation.