Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae presents the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, with “Aotearoa”, the new korowai which is a chiefly symbol of his office.
2 November 2015
The Governor-General, Lieutenant General the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, presented the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, with a striking feathered korowai (cloak) at a ceremony at Government House today.
The korowai, named “Aotearoa”, is a chiefly symbol of the office of the Chief of Defence Force. Woven with over 14,000 feathers, one for every member of the New Zealand Defence Force, the korowai is full of symbolism. The white feathers are woven so they stand out from the cloak, catching the wind and the light like clouds racing across the sky.
The top tāniko pattern in red with white chevrons represents those who have lost their lives in the service of New Zealand and those who still serve. The red also symbolises high rank and pōhutukawa flowers as a reminder of New Zealand – its shores, beaches and the land.
The bottom tāniko’s chevron pattern starts with a diamond in the centre representing a decision by the Chief of Defence Force that ripples out to individual ranks (denoted by individual chevrons) like ripples in a pool. The top and bottom tāniko also represent the Arctic and Antarctica with the white panels representing New Zealand and the rest of the world.
Two black pillars join the cloak together representing Ranginui (Sky Father) and Papatūānuku (Earth Mother), male and female, military and civilian personnel in the Defence Force. These pillars “hold up” the top white panel representing the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
The korowai was woven by Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Robert Jobe and took a year to complete. WO1 Jobe attended the centenary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli this year as the NZDF artist and is currently weaving a korowai to mark the commemoration.
“Aotearoa” will be worn by the Chief of Defence Force on ceremonial occasions.
For further information contact Defence Public Affairs: 021 487 980