Media releases and reports

Unveiling a new name and brand positioning for UNICEF Aotearoa

13 JULY 2021

Kaitiaki o ngā uri o āpōpō. Guardians of the generations of tomorrow.

UNICEF NZ officially celebrated their name change to UNICEF Aotearoa in recognition of their commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and protecting the rights of all tamariki.

Mavis Mullins, UNICEF Aotearoa Māori Council Chair, says the name change proudly acknowledges the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand and the organisations dedication to embedding multicultural values.

“We recognise the bicultural foundation of Aotearoa and the status of Māori as tangata whenua. Working in partnership with Māori and communities across Aotearoa, we must continue to deliver better outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi with a focus on participation, potential and protection” says Mullins. “This is an exciting journey for UNICEF Aotearoa – a continued commitment to protect the aspirations, whakapapa and mana of children in recognition that culture is a taonga (treasure) to be cherished.”

Announcing the name change alongside Matariki is of particular significance to the children’s rights organisation who advocate for the survival, development and protection of every child as guardians for future generations. In alignment with the Māori New Year, UNICEF Aotearoa honours the power of biculturalism, the strength of community connections and celebrates new beginnings.

Michelle Sharp, UNICEF Aotearoa CEO, acknowledges that although the organisation is proud to have taken significant steps to honour biculturalism, there is still a long road ahead.

“Today we celebrate our successes; developing Te Hiringa Tamariki – the first Māori well-being model with a specific focus on tamariki in 2018, our esteemed Māori Council and Kaumatua who have guided us forward, and our staff who are committed every day to protecting the rights of children,” says Sharp. “In order to champion the rights of children, particularly those most disadvantaged, we must continue to deepen our knowledge of biculturalism and ensure that all our tamariki can see themselves reflected in our organisation. Children are after all at the heart of our mahi.”

Supporting te reo Māori revitalisation and ensuring te reo Māori is more visible, the organisation’s tagline ‘for every child’ will now be more frequently written as ‘Mō ngā tamariki katoa’, a move endorsed by Indigenous Design and Innovation Aotearoa (IDIA) who designed the brand positioning visuals.

“The key challenge was – how do we develop visual elements that help to tell this new story of UNICEF Aotearoa in a meaningful way?” says IDIA. “We chose to illustrate the new identity with design elements that connect UNICEF with Māori and to our whānau across the Pacific.”

The design elements will be gradually rolled out on internal and external materials over the coming year along with a focus on uplifting te reo across the organisation.

As UNICEF celebrates their 75th birthday in 2021, UNICEF Aotearoa mark their 47th year in Aotearoa. As one of 33 National Committees, the organisation seeks to make life better for all tamariki by advocating for the rights of children in Aotearoa, partnering with the New Zealand Government to deliver programs to tamariki in the Pacific and raising funds for UNICEF’s worldwide emergency and development work.

“We aim to inspire other UNICEF offices around the world to consider the aspirations and values of their indigenous peoples in an inclusive and empowering way,” says Sharp. “We are committed to developing on-going relationships and partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations, ensuring all tamariki know that we are here to support them. Mō ngā tamariki katoa.”

We would also like to thank kaimahi, tamariki, Te Kōhanga Reo o Arohanui ki Te Tangata and Waiwhetu Marae for their support. Find out more about our new name