The Name

Te Reo Māori is the indigenous language of Aotearoa New Zealand and one of the nation’s official languages. The name “Rongowai” comes from:

Rongo – meaning  to sense (hear, feel, smell etc)

Wai –  water

The name is an example of an embodied approach that acknowledges Rongowai’s contribution to the restoration of mauri (life-force).


The Logo


The logo design is in the form of a Manaia. The manaia in this instance is a kaitiaki (guardian) of all bodies of water. From moana (sea), awa (rivers) , to roto (lakes) and mamao. The differing hues of blue within the manaia account for the different tones of wai (water) across the world.

The three triangular figures are kao kao. They represent the arm pit of a tangata (people), a space traditionally associated with the manaaki (nurture) and tiaki (protection) of young. They draw attention to the kaitiaki qualities and potential of ‘Rongowai’ in identifying areas prone to drought.

The manaia is also a lens or whatu. The space within the whatu of the manaia is in a state of mauri ora (thriving life force). The whenua (land) within the whatu is living and thriving due to the differing bodies of water (ua (rain), awa (rivers, stream), wairere (falls)) that feed into it replenishing it’s mauri. This feeding of the bodies of water into the whenua within the whatu is represented by the curved head of the manaia that turns inward as an awa (river).

In essence, the Tauira (example) is a representation of the state of mauri ora or thriving life force across the whenua,  that ‘Rongowai’ as a tool of surveying and analysing whenua will help to create.


The name Rongowai was gifted to the mission by University of Auckland’s Kaiarataki, Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori, Michael Steedman in consultation with Air New Zealand’s Henare Johnson. The logo was created by University of Auckland artist, Waimihia Maniapoto-Love.