Te Kura O Take Kārara is a brand new school being built in Wanaka in 2020. What a stunning place for a school. The exact location was known as Take Kārara by Ngāi Tahu back in the early 1800s.

When it came to designing their new school logo I discovered the word "reflection" as the key to unlocking how it would look. 

Three unique things about Te Kura O Take Kārara would end up defining the direction of their logo - the name, the lake and the surrounding mountains.

It was called Take Kārara by Ngāi Tahu Māori back in the early 1800s. During the summer months they would stop and stay for a while, hunt local wildlife, before climbing the mountains above the Haast River in search of pounamu. Their connection with the area ended abruptly around 1836.

The area showcases some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. The surrounding mountains rise above Lake Wanaka and are then 'reflected' back upon themselves. Images of the iconic Wanaka Tree highlight the beauty of the lake and its transcendental like qualities. I decided to use these features as a way of telling a story about what the new school represents.


Lake Wanaka Township

Meaning Behind the Logo 

There are three mountain shapes represented in the logo symbol. The largest (central) is symbolic of the Te Kura O Take Kārara student. Supporting them, on both sides, are two smaller mountain shapes that represent staff and whānau.


The mountains in green are 'reflected', in blue, on the water below. This reflection honours the special importance Take Kārara holds to Ngāi Tahu Māori as an historic meeting place. The logo symbolises a new beginning for this location as a meeting place of learning and sharing of knowledge and ideas. Students direct their learning while being supported by the school and their whānau.


The motto "Navigating Pathways of Learning" is symbolised by the Mangapore pattern running through the junction between the mountains and their reflection in the water. It is not only a symbol of strength, leadership, determination and courage but also symbolic of wealth.

Te Kura O Take Kārara is in an unique location - a scenic wonderland surrounded by a ‘wealth’ of natural beauty that students will draw upon for personal growth as well as explore as part of their learning.

More to follow soon . . .

Te Kura O Take Kārara Wanaka New Zealand

Te Kura O Take Kārara Mock-up

Te Kura O Take Karara School Branding Wanaka NZ

Inspiration for the Logo

Te-Kura-O-Take-Karara-School-Branding 2 Wanaka NZ

Interested in more new school build or rebuild examples?  Follow the link HERE to the "New Builds / Rebuilds" page on my website. I will be updating that page with new examples, and links to case studies, as they come to hand.


Building a brand new school or in the middle of a rebuild?

I'd love to work with you in developing an exciting new brand image for your school. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about the process and planning.

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