A collaborative journey to a new name and brand

As a team of specialists, we recognise the importance of having the right people on the job. If a project requires expertise outside of our usual scope, we establish partnerships and collaborate with others. We might not be experts in a certain field and if not, we find organisations that share our values and quality standards, and come together to be able to deliver the best possible project outcomes.

A prime example of the magic that happens when we join forces is this new name and brand. Developed for Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa, the Outdoor Access Commission. Formerly known as ‘The New Zealand Walking Access Commission’ (NZWAC). Let us walk you through it!

Tūtira Mai and Herenga ā Nuku group launch blessing

Identifying the need

After a statutory review, 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. What about all the other forms of public access to the outdoors and other people that enjoy Te Taiao. The trampers, fishermen, hunters, cyclists, horse riders and ramblers, we can’t forget them.

So 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. We worked in partnership with Write who conducted the research phase, gathering and analysing key stakeholder and target audience feedback. We also partnered with Tūtira Mai NZ who 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 then applied this to a broad range of design collateral for Herenga ā Nuku to proudly share during the launch and blessing ceremony of their new name and brand (photos included of this event kindly supplied by Herenga ā Nuku).

Minister Herenga ā Nuku launch speech

But who did what?

Write’s mission was to gather information direct from the source which would set the foundations of the new brand. They collected integral information through a rigorous series of discovery workshops and a bespoke survey. Inviting NZWAC’s key stakeholder groups to share their thoughts, knowledge and feedback. This included NZWAC Staff and regional field advisors, NZWAC Board and management, central and local government representatives, recreational organisations and trail builders and landowners. The information generated from this framework helped us to ensure the new name and brand would reflect the Commissions true role and scope.

Tūtira Mai NZ were essential in the success of this project. Tūtira Mai provide cultural advice and guidance to organisations who want to include te ao Māori in their workplace practices. We engaged in consultation with Tūtira Mai who assisted with the naming strategy, the creation of the brand name and ensured our design work was authentic. Tūtira Mai engaged and consulted Iwi leaders and Māori stakeholders at a nationwide level to ensure a robust and inclusive process was honoured.

As a result of these hui, five new names were chosen as possible options. Then each was presented to the Commission with a description and the rationale behind them. Tūtira Mai wanted to select a name that would be ingoa rangatira – a name that carries mana. The name that fulfilled this requirement and which was ultimately gifted to the Commission was: Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa.

Herenga is a bond, obligation or tie. Nuku refers to Papatūānuku, the earth mother. She is the land in all her beauty, power, strength and inspiration. She sustains us. All involved were in agreement that this is a very fitting name for an agency whose purpose is to help bind the land to the people, and strengthen the connection of people to the land.

Herenga ā Nuku launch photo Gusto

Gusto developed an authentic new brand that respected te ao Māori through our collaboration with Write and guided by Tūtira Mai. Both partnerships ensured we had a solid framework to inform us throughout our decision making and visual design process.

Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa fully invested in the process and were involved every step of the way. Read more about their experience and perspective on the Herenga ā Nuku website: Ko tenei ā mātou ingoa hou – This is our new name. Or for more background information, listen to this excellent piece that encapsulates the story behind the name put together by the Wellington Māori radio station Te Upoko o Te Ika.