Our identity

The University Council agreed with recommendations from the Vice-Chancellor to adopt a branding refresh strategy and not change the University's legal name.

University announces branding refresh

6 May 2019

The Council of Victoria University of Wellington today agreed with recommendations from the Vice-Chancellor to adopt a branding refresh strategy and will not be changing the University’s legal name.

The refresh will see the University emphasise the word ‘Wellington’ in its name, firmly linking the University’s identity to its location in the Wellington region.

Market research has shown it is the word ‘Wellington’ that differentiates the University internationally.

The University Council today also approved a new Māori name of Te Herenga Waka, subject to further discussion with mana whenua. Te Herenga Waka, which is also the name of the University’s marae, will replace the current name of Te Whare Wānanga o te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui.

The University’s legal name of Victoria University of Wellington will continue to be used on formal documents such as degree certificates and legal contracts.

The University will refresh its visual identity to provide greater emphasis to the word ‘Wellington’. These changes will be seen on the University’s website, in external communications and marketing material and in the way the University formally abbreviates its name. Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford says the changes will be made progressively to ensure continuity with the past and to keep costs to a minimum.

As part of the visual identity refresh, the University Council today approved a new shield and crest.  Within the new shield is a traditional Māori niho taniwha pattern found in panels at the University’s Te Herenga Waka marae—a symbol for the collective purpose of a university community. Beneath the pattern is a representation of water—Te Whanganui-a-Tara—which locates the University in the harbour city of Wellington. The inclusion of the University’s establishment date of 1897 in the shield highlights the University’s long legacy dating back to its origins as a college of the University of New Zealand.

This increased emphasis on ‘Wellington’ will also apply to the names of groups and programmes within the University—for example Victoria Business School and Victoria International.

University Chancellor Neil Paviour-Smith thanked everyone who has participated in consultation about the University’s name over the past year. He says the Council is determined to ensure that staff, students and alumni receive the recognition they have earned from working or studying at a globally-ranked university, evidenced by the University being confirmed as number one in the country in the latest Performance-Based Research Fund national research rankings.