Our identity

Victoria University of Wellington's new visual identity embodies our values, our place in New Zealand, our bicultural heritage, and our history.

The new visual identity we are developing encapsulates exactly what we are: a globally minded university that values close involvement with the social, cultural, and economic life of its city and region or, put simply, a global–civic university with our marae at our heart.

The quality of our teaching and research are the equal of any of the top universities in the world and our graduates deserve to receive the recognition and opportunities that flow from studying at a world-class university.

A distinctive identity is essential to building an international reputation and the cornerstone of identity is place—in our case, the city of Wellington in Aotearoa New Zealand. For this reason, and to reflect the enduring partnership between our University and the capital city, we are creating new branding that will emphasise and celebrate the word Wellington. It will also prominently feature our new Māori name of Te Herenga Waka, which has been approved by the University Council.

Part of our branding refresh is the introduction of a new shield and crest, which also reflect our identity—symbolising the collective purpose of a university community, locating us in the harbour city of Wellington, and highlighting our long legacy dating back more than 120 years. We are also designing a new logo to be introduced from 2020.

Te Herenga Waka

The new Māori name approved by the University Council is Te Herenga Waka. This is also the name of our marae and means the mooring place of canoes.

With its fully carved and beautifully decorated wharenui, or meeting house, the first to be established in a New Zealand university, Te Herenga Waka has been at the heart of the University's community for more than three decades.

We are proud of how our marae represents the iho, or essence, of our Māori identity at the University. The centrality of Te Herenga Waka as a place of teaching, learning, and connection makes the University unique. As well as providing a link to our ancestors, it ties us to all the iwi of Aotearoa and across the Pacific. Like the University, it is a place where people from around the country and beyond can 'hitch their canoes' and find shelter. When people are ready to leave the University, they can unhitch their canoe and sail off to new horizons, while still maintaining a deep connection to Te Herenga Waka.

Understanding our new logo

Our visual identity has continually evolved throughout our 120-year history, as you will see in the video at the end of the slide presentation below. Different elements of our name have taken prominence in our logo and branding in response to our changing footprint and role in Wellington city. In the slide presentation, you can explore the elements of our new visual identity, which celebrates Wellington, our connections to the city, and our bicultural heritage.

Strategic plan

Victoria University of Wellington's vision is to be a world-leading capital city university and one of the great global–civic universities.

View the strategic plan

Our partnerships with Wellington

The University’s partnerships in Wellington help drive economic growth, health, and wellbeing, and make the city a better place to live.

View our partnerships

What is not changing

While our new visual identity emphasises the word ‘Wellington’ in our name, the word ‘Victoria’ will continue to play an active role in the life of the University.

A range of current names that have Victoria in them will not be changing. Our new identity will not affect:

  • The University’s legal name i.e. Victoria University of Wellington
  • The presence of the University’s legal name in the new logo
  • The use of the University’s legal name in academic publications e.g. research papers
  • Colloquial names for the University e.g. ‘Vic’
  • The names of student groups, clubs or societies e.g. VUWSA (unless any wish to change their name)
  • The names of rooms and buildings of particular heritage importance e.g. the Victoria Room and the Hunter Building
  • The name of the alumni publication Victorious
  • The names of groups such as the Hunter Club, the Victoria Legacy Club and the Victoria Benefactors Circle
  • The name of the Research Trust of Victoria University of Wellington
  • The current Māori names of faculties and of the Te Aro and Pipitea Campuses

Read more about the decisions around the branding refresh in our May, June, and July University Council papers and the 29 July University Council meeting minutes. (The wording of motions passed by Council may differ from those that were recommended by management.)