Where your story starts
Hamilton, New Zealand’s fourth largest and fastest growing city, in the heart of the Waikato, one of the country’s agricultural and business powerhouses. This area has a centuries’ long and famous Maaori history, and today the airport and its expanding business and property interests play an increasingly vital role for the region and country.
As part of a far-reaching strategic plan the airport was undertaking a major terminal upgrade as well as the expansion of a large, state-of-the-art industrial park. A new umbrella brand, story and values-set were required to position the business for the future.
We facilitated a consultative process with 25+ stakeholders including management, councils, tourism organisations and property partners. This included Maaori co-engagement with consultants providing a hands-on tikanga perspective with in-depth knowledge of the land, its stories and local iwi.
Strategy outcomes focused on the airport’s role as a waharoa (gateway), business hub and cultural symbol. A place where regions come together, pathways cross and connections are formed.
Design required co-creation, working with cultural leads, workshopping local history, the Pekapeka (local indigenous long-tailed bat), physical aspects of the airport (the runway), and its role as a waharoa. This was a complex process throughout, with regular check-ins with the client team, wider stakeholders and the board ensuring a smooth, inclusive process.
The cultural design-lead then used these elements as a starting point for Maaori artists creating artwork now installed across the airport. All creative partners worked harmoniously throughout — brand, artists, architects, landscapers and signage — creating a cohesive brand experience.
“Our brand has been enriched by the agency’s understanding of how to embrace Te Ao Maaori and the importance of manaakitanga and partnership across all aspects of our business … an absolute testament to the brand team and their ability to create a beautiful, timeless and culturally symbolic brand.” — Mark Morgan, Group Chief Executive
Hamilton Airport now has a brand that truly positions it as ‘a waharoa, a vital gateway’ for decades to come.