Whai Rawa 2019

19 Mar 2020

Whai Rawa navigates cycles of investment and advancement to provide stability and opportunity for iwi members. Standing at the threshold of a new season and cycle, we were asked to create a design system that would engage both the business and iwi communities.

Whai Rawa asked us to create a new aesthetic to communicate their entrepreneurial spark and strategic direction. We spent time understanding what Whai Rawa’s priorities and opportunities were and discovered that they stood on the threshold of a new tide.

After years of careful investment and development Whai Rawa was in a position for new opportunities and wanted to communicate this to the business community and to iwi members alike. These two audiences being quite different required a balance of personal, human communications with the more factual and financial business information.

The Narrative

Our approach was to work with iwi members to define a narrative in both english and te reo Māori that defines the core message in an emotive and impactful manner. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei provided a beautiful narrative of Te Tai Whanake - the rising tide, as a metaphor for cycles of growth and opportunity.

Written by our CD, Johnson McKay and his whanaunga Hana Merireiha (Ngāti Mahuta), Te Tai Whanake was written into a narrative that directed the design process.

Unaunahi Cycle

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei carving styles use a motif called unaunahi, representing the scales of fish. These unaunahi speak to having an abundance of kai, which enables a people to provide for their own and host guests. This principle of manaakitanga (economic prosperity and hospitality) is a central Māori value and represents the mana and standing of an iwi.

The unaunahi motif was used in clusters of three within concentric lines, which represent the continuous cycles of tide and time, prosperity and progress.

Fly designed an Annual Report which uses the Unaunahi Cycle to bring together the two core themes of economic prosperity and how that provides for healthy, thriving families of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

"Johnson and the whānau at Fly have provided us with a refreshing and contemporary look for our Annual Report. The report was reflective of who we are, resonates with our whānau members and allows us to stand proud among our industry partners. It is often hard to find creative agencies who understand the complexities and uniqueness of being a hapū owned commercial entity but Johnson's intrinsic depth of knowledge and passion for te ao Māori is Fly’s real point of difference. We like to partner with organisations who live and breathe our mātāpono, who are equally as driven to achieve our desired outcomes. We’ve found working with Fly very positive and we look forward to creating more magic together."

- Hariata Ngatai, Whai Rawa

E mihi atu nei ki ngā rangatira me ngā whānau o Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei ki ō koutou manaakitanga ki a mātou.


Creative Director - Johnson McKay­
Design Director - Tim Hansen
Designer - Siobhon Joe
Client: Hariata Ngatai