National symbols of New Zealand

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National symbols of New Zealand are used to represent what is unique about the nation, reflecting different aspects of its cultural life and history.

Official symbols

Symbol Image Adopted Remarks
Flag Flag of New Zealand Flag of New Zealand 24 March 1902[1] A Blue Ensign with the Southern Cross of four white-edged red five-pointed stars centered on the outer half of the flag.[2]
Coat of arms Coat of arms of New Zealand Coat of arms of New Zealand Adopted in 1911 and revised in 1956[3] The symbols on the shield represent the country's maritime trade, agriculture and industry. A European woman and a Māori chief flank the left and right sides, identifying New Zealand as a multicultural nation. The figures are supported by the silver fern, a native plant. The St Edward's Crown is a reminder that New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy.[4]
National anthems "God Defend New Zealand"
"God Save the Queen"
"God Defend New Zealand"
"God Save the Queen"
"God Defend New Zealand" was adopted in 1977[5] Both are official, though in most circumstances "God Defend New Zealand" is used as the anthem. "God Save the Queen" is generally used only on regal and viceregal occasions.[5]
National colours Black, red ochre and white/silver Queens Service ribbon New Zealand national honours have used red ochre, black and white/silver since 1975.[6] The national Māori flag, official since 1990, also uses these colours with attached symbolism.[7] Red ochre (kokowai) has a spiritual significance in Māori culture, associated with life and vitality.[6][8]

Unofficial emblems

Symbol Image Remarks
National bird Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) North Island Brown Kiwi The term Kiwis has been used as a nickname for New Zealanders since at least World War I, and the bird's use as a symbol for the country dates from the same era.[9]
National plant Silver fern (Cyathera dealbata) Frond, showing silver underside A species of medium-sized tree fern, endemic to New Zealand. Often referred to by its Māori name, ponga, the silver fern has been used to represent New Zealand since the 1880s.[10]
National flower Kōwhai (Sophora tetraptera) Kōwhai Evergreen tree, producing bright yellow flowers in spring. Blooms of kōwhai are found throughout New Zealand in a diverse range of habitats.[11] The Department of Conservation notes that kōwhai is widely regarded as being the national flower.[11]
National personification Zealandia Zealandia depiction Popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. Now rarely used, other than as a supporter on the coat of arms.[12]

Cultural icons

Icons of New Zealand culture are almost as well known by New Zealanders and visitors as unofficial symbols. Certain items of popular culture thought to be unique to New Zealand are also called "Kiwiana".[13]

Image Remarks
The All Blacks All Blacks team members The country's national rugby union team - three times world champions, and the country's best known sports team both locally and internationally.
The Beehive
The Beehive
The distinctly shaped executive wing of New Zealand Parliament Buildings, built in the 1970s.
Bungy jumping
Kawarau Bridge bungy
Popularised by A.J. Hackett in the South Island,[14] it has become a popular extreme sport worldwide.
Haka
Māori haka
A traditional Māori war dance, now widely used by sports teams as a challenge and by schools as a tribute or honour.
Hei-tiki
Hei-tiki
Traditional Māori ornamental pendants.
Kiwifruit
Kiwifruit
This fruit was branded kiwifruit when growers in New Zealand established successful cultivars suitable for export.[15] It remains a major export for the country.
Koru
Korukowhaiwhai
The koru, widely used in traditional Māori art, is a stylised depiction of an unfurling silver fern frond.[16]
The Lord of the Rings The film trilogy (and the subsequent The Hobbit trilogy) highlighted New Zealand's natural scenery and is widely associated with the country worldwide.[17]
Mitre Peak
Mitre Peak
A distinctive peak which dominates Milford Sound, one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.[18]
Pāua
Pāua
A species of abalone. Its flesh is a delicacy, and its iridescent shell is used for ornamentation.
Pavlova
Pavlova
A meringue cake with a crisp crust and soft, marshmallow centre, topped with whipped cream and fruit. Its country of origin is widely contested by Australia.[19]
Pounamu ("Greenstone") Kataore, Mere pounamu (42cm x 12cm) Nephrite jade, highly valued by Māori both physically and spiritually.[20]
Sky Tower
The Sky Tower
Opened in 1997, the Sky Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere.[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ "New Zealand Flag colors, meaning and symbolism". newzealandflag.facts.co. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "Flags". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Coat of Arms". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Wilson, John (September 2016). "Nation and government - Nationhood and identity". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "History of God Defend New Zealand". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Design of the New Zealand Orders", Department of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  7. ^ "The national Māori flag". NZHistory.govt.nz. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "Kokowai". Sharing the Waiwhakaiho. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "Kiwi", Department of Conservation/Te Papa Atawhai. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  10. ^ Wilson, John (16 September 2016). "Nation and government - Nationhood and identity", Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  11. ^ a b Kowhai", Department of Conservation/Te Papa Atawhai. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  12. ^ Glover, Denis James Matthews (23 April 2009) [First published in 1966]. "A National Symbol?". In McLintock, Andrew Hare. An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Wilson, John (8 February 2005). "Nation and government - Nationhood and identity", Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Bungy Jumping - Queenstown New Zealand". nz.com. New Zealand on the Web. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  15. ^ Mortion, Julia F. (2011), "Kiwifruit: Actinidia deliciosa In: Fruits of Warm Climates, 1987", Center for New Crops & Plant Products at Purdue University. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  16. ^ Charles Royal, Te Ahukaramū (8 February 2005). "Māori creation traditions - Common threads in creation stories: The koru", Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  17. ^ Pinchefsky, Carol (14 December 2012). "The Impact (Economic and Otherwise) of Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit on New Zealand". Forbes. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  18. ^ McLintock, Andrew Hare, ed. (22 April 2009) [First published in 1966]. "Mitre Peak". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  19. ^ Wilson, John (8 February 2005). "Australians - Neighbouring nations", Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  20. ^ Keane, Basil (12 June 2006). "Pounamu – jade or greenstone", Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  21. ^ Napflin, Urban. Travel New Zealand: An introduction for travellers to Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud. Urban Napflin. p. 202. ISBN 9780473257330. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 

External links

  • Nationhood and Identity
  • Symbols of Identity
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