New Zealand the Land of the Long White Cloud
Also known as Aotearoa the Maori name for the New Zealand, the literal translation is “land of the long white cloud”. New Zealand has been inhabited by Maori since approximately 1300 AD originally only a reference to the North Island but, since the late 19th century, the word has come to refer to the country as a whole.
Māori oral traditions, which describe the arrival of ancestors in a number of large ocean-going canoes (waka) in around 1350. There may have been some exploration and settlement before the eruption of Mount Tarawera a volcano 24k southeast of Rotorua in about 1315, based on finds of bones from Polynesian rats and rat-gnawed shells, and evidence of widespread forest fires in the decade or so earlier; but the most recent evidence points to the main settlement occurring as a planned mass migration somewhere between 1320 and 1350. The Māori originated from settlers who migrated to New Zealand from eastern Polynesia. Polynesian people settled a large area encompassing Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, Easter Island (Rapa Nui) – and finally New Zealand.
The volcanic region of Rotorua and Taupō is famous for its mud pools that bubble like porridge, geysers spurting steam, and cascading terraces, which form as minerals from the hot springs rain on to the rocks. Whakarewarewa has 500 hot springs and seven geysers. New Zealand’s largest geyser is Pōhutu, reaching 20 metres or more.
The design represents the balance of natural forces with each other. To live life is to live with nature. To appreciate life is to understand nature.
Black – represents Te Korekore, the realm of Potential Being. It represents the long darkness from whence the world emerged. It represents the heavens. The male element is formless, floating and q.
White – represents Te Ao Marama, the realm of Being and Light. It is the Physical World. White also symbolises purity, harmony, enlightenment, and balance.
Koru – the curling frond shape, the Koru, represents the unfolding of new life. It represents rebirth and continuity, and offers the promise of renewal and hope for the future.
Red – represents Te Whei Ao, the realm of Coming into Being. It symbolises the female element. It also represents active, flashing, southern, falling, emergence, forest, land and gestation. Red is Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, the sustainer of all living things. Red is the colour of earth from which the first human was made.