In 2023, we changed our name from NZ Museums to Kōtuia nga Kete. This name is based on the Māori concept of weaving together baskets of knowledge to interlink knowledge systems. Kōtuia translates as interlink or connect.
Journey to the name
A group of mātauranga Māori experts at Te Papa were invited to propose a new name. Lee Johnson, a te reo Māori expert and kaiako, presented ‘Kōtuia ngā Kete’, which recognises all the organisations and knowledge systems within the site.
The name and its meaning also provided the starting point for the site’s design direction.
The customary niho taniwha pattern was the starting point for the logo. Here, the motif represents an entrance or gateway to a marae (communal meeting place), offering protection and guardianship to the taonga within.
Two sacred stones are also in the logo. They are Ngā Whatukura, which Tāne received in the 12th heaven along with the baskets of knowledge. The stones, individually known as Huka ā Tai (ocean foam) and Rehutai (white sea mist), are buried within Papatūānuku. In the logo, the two stones are locked in the hollowed space reflected on either side of the apex.
The site’s green and blue colour palette is a reference to bioluminescence in the seas of Tangaroa.
The use of light and dark tells a visual story that references Tāne’s journey and the retrieved baskets. As you journey into the site, darkness transitions to light, symbolising the discovery of knowledge.