Department of Conservation
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Design & Build
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This important site in New Zealand’s history required improved interpretation to cater to the many local and international visitors to Kerikeri. Locales created a multi-platform concept and interpretation plan to deliver a high-quality interpretation product for one of New Zealand’s most iconic sites. This included practical way-finding signage to guide visitors around the area and evocative illustrations showing what the area would have looked like in the past.
The first stage of the project involved developing an identity for the park. Kororipo Heritage Park is the site in Kerikeri of the most significant period of early interaction between Māori and Pākehā. It is where the first words in Māori were printed, and it is the site of the Declaration of Independence by Māori.
The challenge for the project was to create an identity that encapsulated the new park name in a way that indicated this deeper story, and the significance of this site and this story.
At the heart of the park is the Kerikeri inlet, a swirling tidal river that is the home of the ancestral taniwha Kauea, and also the location of Hongi Hika’s departing waka taua, where they circled and circled to create a whirlpool before departing on raids that changed the face of New Zealand.
Our solution is based on a simple base line that forms two koru. This line represents the water of the inlet, and the koru signify both Kauea and Hongi’s whirlpool. The two koru are also the two letters ‘r’ in the name Kororipo, and this rolling ‘r’, often confused by Europeans as a ‘d’ at the time, represents the written form of Te Reo emerging from an ancient stream of spoken language.
The identity is used primarily on park signage in a metal form, contrasting with a palisaded wooden base to evoke the interaction between Māori and Pākehā on this site.
A bronze orientation map and custom-designed illustrated interpretation panels allow the visitor to discover the site’s rich history while taking a walk around the park and planning the rest of their time in Kerikeri. The map replicates Kerikeri’s iconic built heritage helping visitors to orientate themselves to the landscape.