The Wellington Phoenix have a new look this A-Leagues season, with a strong influence from local iwi throughout the Paladin Sports kit.
The men’s and women’s home and away strips were unveiled at the club’s 2022-23 season launch at the St James Theatre in Wellington on Friday night.
The iconic black stripes remain on the front of the predominantly yellow home shirt, while this season’s away strip is a striking navy blue.
The Phoenix have been gifted a taonga to use on their kit, with acclaimed designer Charmaine Love creating a tohu for the club on behalf of Te Āti Awa, mana whenua.
Love has worked closely with Paladin Sports and the Wellington Phoenix to ensure the strip represents the Wellington region, local iwi, the fans and the club.
Ngake and Whātaitai, the two taniwha of Wellington harbour Te Whanganui-a-Tara feature on either side of the tohu. They represent mauri (life force) of a place in physical form and kaitiakitanga (guardianship).
A further element of the tohu are 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.
Finally, Te Raukura (the white feather or a plume of white feathers) is centred on the front of the jerseys. It is an important symbol to the tribes who affiliate to Te Āti Awa and other Taranaki rohe. 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.
Phoenix general manager David Dome is excited to have unveiled the new strips for the men’s and women’s A-League teams.
“We think the tohu in partnership with Paladin’s ever impressive quality combine together to give the club a fantastic kit and identity heading into a full season finally based back in Aotearoa,” Dome said.
The 2022-23 men’s and women’s Wellington Phoenix kit will be available for pre-order here from 5pm this Tuesday, September 27.