The history of the kōwhai and hospice
The kōwhai has been a feature of the Hospice NZ logo since the organisation was founded in 1986. The kōwhai is considered the unofficial flower of New Zealand, so is an appropriate emblem to represent the national organisation for all hospice services throughout the country.
Historically the kōwhai flower and bark was used in rongoā (traditional Māori medicine) for its healing properties. Over past years as individual hospice services were created, many chose to include the kowhai flower in their organisations logo, a tribute to the national scope of hospice services and membership of Hospice New Zealand.
In 2009 we started to look at the national branding of hospice services and Hospice New Zealand. A priority was to maintain the connection with the organisations history and build on the established link between hospice and the kōwhai.
Today the kōwhai flower remains a prominent element of the hospice ONE brand logo and brand, now adopted by most hospice services throughout New Zealand.