Horowhenua's Hot New Identity

Published on December 06, 2022

Horowhenua NZ 2022_Come Find Yourself.
Living in Horowhenua, we know of the special experiences, opportunities, relationships, history and fauna we enjoy while living, working, learning and playing here. A new destination brand launched in October shares these stories with the wider world, highlighting what makes Horowhenua a unique and great place.

The transformative brand narrative celebrates the unique strengths of the district, and was a collaborative project many months in the making. 

The development of the Horowhenua brand, and the opportunities that follow, became a priority after the district’s visitor expenditure growth per capita outshone national averages between 2016 and 2019. This largely organic growth led to a review of Horowhenua as a destination and thus the Horowhenua Destination, Development and Management Plan 2020-2030 was born.

Local businesses, community and interest groups, iwi/hapū, rangatahi (youth), elected members and tourist operators were invited to participate in a brand workshop as part of the process. Exploring the proposition ‘only in the Horowhenua will you find’, it was evident that our uniqueness comes from the whenua and its relationship to its people. Chief Executives of Muaūpoko Tribal Authority, Rangitāne and Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga were also interviewed. From there, the team learnt about what makes Horowhenua so unique. 

Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Chief Executive Di Rump, a member of the Steering Group, says “Horowhenua is rich in culture, history and opportunity. It has been exciting to work in partnership with Council to deliver a project that acknowledges our shared aspirations of sustainability, inclusivity and growth.” 

Horowhenua has the shortest distance in Aotearoa from the maunga (mountains) to the moana (sea). This unique microcosm has provided for its people and enabled them to thrive and prosper, whether that be tangata whenua, early settlers, market gardeners or the many producers and businesses that call Horowhenua home today. 

It was a natural fit that the Horowhenua brand reflect the enduring and enriching natural elements of the whenua (land).

The aim of the design was to visually represent the ‘Horo’ aspect of our rohe (district) name – the majestic Tararua Range, and the many puna, wetlands and varying types of wai – be that lakes, rivers, streams or ocean. 

The design is closer to the shape of a coastline rather than just a river or stream, linking Taitoko (Levin), Te Awahou (Foxton), Manakau, Waikawa, Shannon, Tokomaru and Ōpiki, reflecting on Horowhenua and its place on the West Coast of the Lower North Island. 

Our boundary signage has been given a refresh and the district has been advertised in neighbouring regions, encouraging people to experience all Horowhenua offers. 

Local businesses, accommodation, activities and destinations feature on a new website - horowhenuanz.co.nz - which was created as part of the brand refresh. Anyone from around the world can explore the website to learn about the district’s history, culture, events and experiences and plan their visit, or move, to the district. 

Mayor Bernie Wanden says “As a Horowhenua local, I’ve always known that we live in a very special part of the world. The thought and engagement that has gone into this piece of work and the resulting outcomes, are something we can all be proud of.” 

The tono – or call to action – featured on destination marketing came from the idea that the district embraces and nourishes people, whether they choose to live here or simply visit: Come find yourself: Huraina tō mata. And for those already living here: Ko tēnei whenua, tōku kāinga – This land, my home.