Te Haerenga (The Journey) - Aaron McTaggart - 2021 Oil on Board - Commissioned work for ANZSOG

Te Haerenga tells a story blending Māori history and ANZSOG’s mission to improve government.

“This stylised story begins in the top left corner when Māori arrived in Aotearoa-New Zealand and Marama (moon) illuminated Te Po (darkness) and past descendants guided our Tupuna (ancestors) to navigate the ocean to discover Aotearoa (land of the long white cloud).

Underneath this, the brow of the Waka (canoe) represents Māori embarking on the epic journey to become Tangata Whenua (first people of the land). The green at the bottom left is the fertile land of Aotearoa, representing the balance of nature and knowledge of Māori to provide food and medicine for generations, to sustain their Iwi (tribes), Hapu (sub-tribes) and Whanau (families).

The two blue sections at the top represent the Wai (water) between Australia and New Zealand, and while it keeps us apart - water is the essence of all life and pays homage to the Mauri (life force) that strongly connects Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to water.

At the top, is a brown and red Koru (a symbol of new growth, new beginnings, new relationships) that is surrounded by light blue lines with a red centre. The other black and yellow Koru encompasses Māori Tikanga (customs and protocols) that keep Māori connected to their identity. Inside the Koru, community is the focus - people living and working together to achieve better outcomes for their Tamariki (children) and ultimately our communities.

The brown ‘fields’ in the bottom right represent the culture, perspectives and values of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander People and Māori, that can better inform the work of the public sector, academics and community agencies.

The green section on the right hand side represents the environment and how essential it is for the wellbeing of all First Peoples cultures. Beneath this, the brown and red earth of Australia depicts the critical importance of caring for Whenua (land/country), to the generations of Indigenous Kaitiaki of the land.

In the centre, the small black and red triangles inside the white curved line, symbolise the steps ANZSOG has taken since it began its journey in 2002. The journey and milestones ANZSOG has achieved thus far are illustrated beneath the steps. The grey pathway that moves beyond these milestones signifies the journey ahead and the achievements and stories yet to unfold.

The cross hatch design in the bottom right depicts the reward that is nurtured and reaped through education. The purpose of ANZSOG is paramount, to continually provide the public sector, academics and community leaders with the knowledge to develop the best public administration tools to achieve the best outcomes for all First Peoples.”

© 2022 Aaron McTaggart