David Lange Memorial Column Iconology

  • Kōtuku. (White Heron)

    The Kōtuku is a rare and endangered New Zealand bird with almost mythical status, revered by both Māori and Pākehā for its elegant white feathers. The Kōtuku is the symbol of Ōtāhuhu College where David Lange was educated.
  • Rangimarie


    This Māori word translates as “peace” and is accompanied by the olive branch, an international symbol of peace.
  • Elephant


    The Indian elephant is a symbol of good luck, representing royalty, authority, power, wisdom and fertility.
  • Woven-panels

    Woven panels - Mānukau & Waitemātā.

    The orientation of the vessel, East-West, references the historic portage route between the Mānukau and Waitemātā harbours. The woven imagery represents tāniko and tukutuku panels and alludes to the weaving together of the community.
  • Hibiscus


    The brightly coloured Hibiscus flower is very popular throughout Pacific nations. It is a symbol of love and life and is often used in lavalava fabric design and tattoo.
  • Frangipani


    The Frangipani flower is the universal symbol of beauty and grace. Chinese culture associated it with love; for the Buddhist community it represented immortality, new life and birth; for Vietnamese it has healing powers.
  • Tapa-Print-Frangipani

    Tapa Print Frangipani.

    The stylised Frangipani flower is commonly used in Polynesian tapa cloth. Its geometric pattern appears in cultural designs from all across the pacific.
  • Dove and Olive Branch.

    Dove and Olive Branch.

    The Dove carrying an olive branch has been a symbol of peace since Biblical times. Dove symbolism appears in Christianity, Judaism and Paganism, as well as in military and pacifist groups.
  • Patiki Flounder

    Pātiki. (Flounder)

    The diamond shaped design is based on the body of the Flounder, an abundant shallow water fish. This pattern is often used in kete weaving.
  • Tamure-Snapper

    Tāmure. (Snapper)

    Once plentiful, this deepwater fish is a rich source of coastal food. Due to unsustainable fishing practices, both commercial and recreational, the population of this slow growing and long living fish is now depleted.
  • Lotus


    To the Hindu community the sacred lotus flower is a symbol of purity and spiritual perfection. It is a source of motivation and compassion as its growth overcomes obstacles, and is unaffected by its surrounding waters.
  • Frog


    The frog is a Celtic symbol representing healing. It has also been linked to images of rebirth, fertility and metamorphosis. The New Zealand native frog is an endangered species.
  • Pukeko


    In Māori culture the pūkeko was held in high esteem because of its red beak and legs. The colour red is associated with nobility and power.
  • Long Fin Eel

    Long Fin Eel

    The long fin eel is endangered. It breeds only once in its lifetime, when it migrates across the Pacific to spawn. The eel larvae drift back to New Zealand on oceanic currents.
  • Eight-Pointed-Star

    Eight Pointed Star

    The eight-pointed star is an ancient and universal symbol, as well as the first compass. It is used here as symbol of fullness, regeneration, navigation and guidance.
  • Tui


    The Tūī represents David Lange’s skills as an orator. In Māori culture these birds were tamed and taught mihi (greetings), as well as prayers and proverbs. A Tūī that spoke with a loud and powerful voice was called a manu rangatira – a chiefly bird.
  • Aum or Om.

    Aum or Om.

    The Aum symbol is an intonation, a resonant and vibrating sound made up of three Sandskrit letters, representing harmony, peace and bliss.
  • Pīwakawaka. (Fantail)

    Pīwakawaka. (Fantail)

    Widespread throughout Aotearoa, this forest bird holds a significant position in Māori mythology. Kupe’s canoe was alleged to have been greeted by this little bird, and legend also links its postulating dance to the challenge of the haka.
  • Early-Christian-Cross

    Early Christian Cross

    Apart from being a symbol of Christianity, the Christian Cross is a symbol of the four seasons and a reference to self, nature, wisdom and the divine.
  • Lizard.


    In many cultures the Lizard is considered an omen of the underworld and symbol of death. However Lizards facing opposite directions can represent rebirth.

Download David Lange Memorial PDF Booklet 

The hardcopy booklet can be purchased from "Brian FitzPatrick, PO Box 251-035, Pakuranga, Auckland, 2140" at a cost of $10.00 incl GST