The Wellington Phoenix have unveiled their fetching new Paladin Sports playing kit for the 2023-24 A-Leagues.
The tohu gifted to the club by local iwi Te Āti Awa again features prominently on the yellow and black Spark and OPPO strips, with Te Raukura, the plume of white feathers, at the centre of both.
Spark is the principal partner on the eye-catching yellow shirt, with the tohu, designed by Charmaine Love, emblazoned in black on the front, across the shoulders and down the sides.
The design is woven throughout the striking black OPPO shirt, as well as the purple, green and pink goalkeeper strips.
Paladin Sports has worked closely with Love and the Wellington Phoenix to design a kit which represents Te Whanganui-a-Tara, local iwi, the fans and the club.
“We are thrilled with the Phoenix kits for this season, which have come about from an in-depth consultative process, including input from fans,” Ed Harman, CEO of Paladin Sports New Zealand, said.
“This season we wanted to bring the dominant colours back from the club’s origins and to develop the black kit further to honour our country and all the positivity around New Zealand co-hosting the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup.
“David and his staff are immensely passionate about the club and its future, and truly have their finger on the pulse of what key elements will mean the most to staff, players and fans alike.
“In our fifth year of being the official apparel partner of the Wellington Phoenix, we are excited for another strong season across both teams and cannot wait for them to hit the pitch.”
Phoenix general manager David Dome can’t wait for players and fans to pull on the strips during the upcoming A-Leagues.
“It’s always exciting to unveil a new kit,” Dome said. “And Paladin Sports have done a fantastic job producing two great looking strips in our traditional club colours, along with our three different goalkeeper kits.
“We ask a lot of Ed and his team at Paladin and they always come up with the answers.
“It’s also fantastic to see the tohu again feature so strongly throughout our playing strips.
“We’re very fortunate to have been gifted this taonga by Te Āti Awa and to be its kaitiaki.”
The women’s and men’s Wellington Phoenix kits for the 2023-24 A-Leagues are available now.
More about the tohu gifted to the Wellington Phoenix:
Acclaimed designer Charmaine Love created a tohu on behalf of Te Āti Awa ki Te Whanganui a Tara in 2022. This taonga was gifted to the Wellington Phoenix last year and the design was incorporated into the team’s kit for the 2022-23 A-Leagues.
Te Raukura (the white feather or plume of white feathers) is centred on the front of the shirts. It is an important symbol to the tribes who affiliate to Te Āti Awa and other Taranaki Iwi. Te Raukura symbolises the peaceful resistance of their tupuna at Parihaka in the 1880s and the white feather is still worn by their descendants today. Te Raukura represents spiritual, physical, and communal harmony and unity. It is an acknowledgement of a higher spiritual power and is a symbol of faith, hope, and compassion for all.
Ngake and Whātaitai, the two taniwha of Wellington harbour Te Whanganui-a-Tara feature on either side of the tohu. Taniwha are mythical Māori creatures and guardians and represent mauri (life force) of a place in physical form and kaitiakitanga (guardianship).
A surrounding element of the tohu features koru (the unfurling new leaf of the ponga fern), symbolising new life, growth, strength and peace. The koru represents the whenua and tangata of Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Ngaru (waves) and mangōpare (hammerhead shark) are also integrated in the tohu. The ngaru represents the cutting of the waves when waka travelled the waters of Te Whanganui-a-Tara. The mangōpare represents and symbolises strength, courage, determination, leadership and a fighting spirit, all values shared with the Wellington Phoenix.
The tohu also features Taranaki maunga which is hugely important to mana whenua and considered tapu.
“Mana whenua are proud to gift this taonga to the Wellington Phoenix, uniting us all, players and fans alike across Te Whanganui-a-Tara and throughout Aotearoa,” Charmaine Love said.
“As kaitiaki, its new guardians, may you draw strength and inspiration from the mana of the uniform. Kia kaha.”