Te pūrākau o te tohu: The story behind Climate Connect Aotearoa's symbol

2 September 2022
Climate Connect Aotearoa
Te Ao Māori

Our tohu (symbol) encapsulates our purpose, telling the pūrākau (story) of where we have come from and where we are going.

The Māui double spiral is the tohu’s guiding principle, with two interlocking hooks representing innovation and strength. Māui-pōtiki, an innovator and leader, sought out a wide array of challenges, including the fishing up of Te Ika a Māui (the North Island) for the benefit of all people who live here today. His representation is fitting, a daily reminder to push through the challenges we face with strength and innovative thinking.

rangi and papa

Moving back through time to the creation of Te Ao, there is a reference to Rangi-nui (Sky Father) and Papatūānuku (Earth Mother), lying opposite one another, never touching, but connected. Rangi and Papa represent an interplay between the natural environment and our expression of lived experiences through how we think and innovate in the face of climate change. A connection between the cerebral and physical worlds. 

forces of nature, wind and water
forces of nature, sun

The tohu has strong links to natural forces - the flow of wind and water, the outward force of the sun, and the growth of our flora and fauna.

circularity on a global scale - circular economy principles design out waste from the supply chain

When looking at the tohu as a whole, its circularity represents the cyclical elements of nature. 

open ended possibilities and interconnectedness among organisations are key to tackling climate change

But zoom in to the centre and you will see the tight connectivity of the tohu, representing how we are all bound together in one system. When we come together as an ecosystem, ideas begin to take shape, unfurl, and grow outwards with endless possibilities.

forces of nature, growth

The many tapatoru (triangles) that make up the form represent collective knowledge – an ecosystem of ideas, stories, technology, people and minds working together in harmony. As we move into this space of collaboration and innovation, we will be collectively drawing on different knowledge systems, finding new ways to live in our changing world as well as looking back to the wisdom of the past, to re-direct our trajectory into the future. 

The tohu was designed by Tyrone Ohia & Team at Extended Whānau 



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