Te Ohu Kaimoana 2018

13 Aug 2021

We were asked by Te Ohu Kaimoana, to create a meaningful design for their 2018 Annual Report. Te Ohu Kaimoana’s guiding principle is the whakataukī "Ka ora ki tae, ka hua ki uta: a thriving and healthy ocean ensures a thriving healthy people."







Strategy | Branding | Social | Campaigns |

The Design Narrative

The design narrative for the Annual Report was inspired by an eloquent narrative of a bird's flight, written by Jamie Tuuta, the Chairman of the Board.

The manu (bird) soars high above the land and sea to get a broad, expansive view of the environment.

The manu soars over the mountains, following the rivers that sparkle and carve their way back to the ocean. This journey from ocean, to mountain, to river and back to the ocean is a beautiful expression of the cycle of life within Iwi, hapū and whānau and the essential need for this cycle to continue, for people to flourish.

The design narrative expresses the flight of the manu throughout the pages of the report, with the ultimate landing place of the manu being within whānau, who are nurtured and sustained by Tangaroa.

Photography & Koowhaiwhai

Erica Sinclair captured the design narrative through birds eye photography, expressing the journey of the manu.

We created a bespoke kōwhaiwhai that expresses the forward momentum and mauri (life force) of the manu as it purposefully moves forward. There are many kōwhaiwhai patterns that express the mauri and movement of water, growth of plants and other observations of nature. But we were not aware of a kōwhaiwhai that was inspired by the way wind gives a bird lift and the power to soar. That became our inspiration. The manu, with its strategic vision is Te Ohu Kaimoana, lifted by the hopes and aspirations of Māori and all New Zealanders for a healthy and thriving moana.

We were inspired by the opportunity to create a graphic system using Māori design elements that were not relegated to the borders of pages. We wanted them to be naturally integrated and a vital part of the design narrative. Our client challenged us to create something modern, inspiring and unique to Te Ohu Kaimoana.

The kōwhaiwhai is a flexible system, enabling it to be used to frame content, direct attention through content, or to adorn content. It highlights key headings, frames important information and creates a dynamic momentum through the report. It was created in three levels of complexity for various uses. This was created as a taonga for Te Ohu Kaimoana and gifted to them as a long term design resource, animated content and a series of custom printed artworks to share with staff and key stake holders.

Te Reo Rangatira

To support the narrative we incorporated whakataukī that speak to the themes in the Annual Report.

Themes of manaakitanga (hospitality), kotahitanga (unity) and balance between environment and people. This gave a clear Māori voice to the publication, reinforcing the brand essence of Te Ohu Kaimoana. The result is a modern statement of Māori aspiration and identity.

Papaki kau ngā ngaru o mihi ki ngaa Rangatira o Te Ohu Kaimoana. Naa koutou i whakapeto ngoi kia whakakotahi ai te Iwi Māori ki te hoe, hei whakaora te moana, hei whakaora ai te iwi ano hoki. He mihi, he mihi, he mihi whakamiha ki a koutou.


Client - Bede Dwyer, Dion Tuuta
Creative Director - Johnson McKay
Design Director - Tim Hansen
Koowhaiwhai Design - Tim Hansen
Design - Jason Fantonial
Animation - Storm Smith
Photography - Erica Sinclair
Te reo Māori Strategy - Johnson McKay