16 March 2021

Identity reflects the organisation’s focus on equity, inclusion and the power of physical activity to transform lives.

On Tuesday 16 March, Sport Wellington officially launched its new name and brand. The organisation rebranded following the adoption of a new 12-year strategic plan, Strategy 2032, which recognises that access to physical activity is not equitable and that there are communities across the Wellington region who are less active, who face different barriers to participating, and who do not get to experience all the positive benefits of being active.

“We have been working in health, sport and active recreation for over twenty years,” says CEO Phil Gibbons. “With Strategy 2032, how we work in this space, what we do, and who we work with will look different.

Sport is important to the wellbeing of the region and will remain a key component of our work; but it’s not the answer for everyone. Our communities are reflecting to us that they need more than just sport if everyone is going to be physically active; they are looking for opportunities through active recreation, active transport, play and sport.”

The purpose of Sport Wellington’s rebrand was to develop a new identity that better reflects the mahi the organisation does every day and the scope of people and partners with whom they work.

“Because our name has been Sport Wellington, many of our stakeholders, partners and communities have perceived our focus, indeed our sole focus, to be sport. While for some people this might just be a ‘name change’, for us this process has been about creating an identity for the organisation that truly reflects the outcomes we want to achieve,” Gibbons says. “We needed an identity that removed barriers to building relationships with partners and communities in all of the sectors we operate; an identity that all of our staff could proudly wear on their t-shirts, no matter who they’re working with or what they’re doing.”

The new name, Nuku Ora, is derived from a whakataukī crafted for the organisation from conversations with mana whenua. Gibbons says “It was important for us to develop a bicultural identity that didn’t rely on translation, but rather developed a strong sense of meaning from a te ao Māori and te ao Pakeha perspective.”

“I’d like to congratulate Nuku Ora on your new identity and its representation of your new whakataukī,” says Hon Grant Robertson, Minister for Sport and Recreation. “Nuku Ora widens the lens from just sport and recognises the various different ways that individuals, whānau and communities choose to be active, as well as the importance of creating more equitable opportunities for all Wellington communities to be active, healthy and happy.  This is an important step on the journey to meeting the needs of all in our community to be active and healthy.  Kia kaha!”

Nuku Ora is grounded in people, community, and the importance of physical activity to the Wellington region. This identity has been developed with guidance from Ramp Brand Agency, input from stakeholders, and support from consultancy firm Te Amokura in engaging with mana whenua.

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