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Civic heraldry of New Zealand


Region: Bay of Plenty
District : Rotorua

Arms (crest) of Rotorua

Official blazon

  • Arms: Azure on a chevron or a rainbow trout leaping proper between in chief a pine tree and a sprig of kowhai leaved slipped and flowered and a geyser issuing from rock in base all also proper.
  • Crest: On a wreath of the colours a male huia bird standing in a brake of New Zealand fern proper.
  • Supporters: On the dexter side a figure representing a farm settler of the nineteenth century, at his feet a cattle dog sejant and on the sinister side a figure representing a Maori chieftain all proper.


The arms were granted on December 10, 1963

The shield, in blue, depicts a pine tree representing the forestry industry in the Rotorua District, a sprig of Kowhai representing the flora of New Zealand and a Geyser representing the Thermal Regions of New Zealand of which Rotorua is the centre. The Chevron, in gold, shows a rainbow trout leaping.

The crest is in the colours of the shield, with the New Zealand Huia standing in a clump of New Zealand Fern.

The Arms are supported by a Settler, representing the importance of the farming industry to Rotorua and by a Maori holding a weapon called a Taiaha and wearing a Korowai or Maori Cloak and Chieftain's feathers.

The motto means "We together" or "we are one" signifying the harmony between Pakeha and Maori and was used during an official welcome by the Maori people to the Prince of Wales (later Duke of Windsor) on his visit to Rotorua in 1920. The motto Tatou Tatou was recommended to the Council by a former deputy mayor of Rotorua, Mr Pakeke Leonard, who was appointed to a subcommittee set up to consider a coat of arms for the city. At the time of the grant of arms in 1963 the City of Rotorua's coat of arms was thought to be the only New Zealand city with a Maori motto rather than a Latin one.

Literature : Information provided by Lawrence Jones.