The Diversity Fern

Diversity fern The Diversity Fern is the logo of the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme. It was designed by Malaysian-born New Zealand designer Jean Voon for Race Relations Day in 2005 and continues to be used in publications, Race Relations Day publicity material, and for Diversity Action Programme activities.
The fern represents the growing cultural diversity of New Zealand. Starting from the base of the fern, the motifs are as follows:

  • Traditional kowhaiwhai pattern from a painted panel. Manutuke church. (1849) Rongowhakaata Tribe.
  • Fleur de Lys design loosely representing the European population, taken from hinges on St Patrick’s Cathedral, Auckland.
  • Samoan pattern from tapa cloth.
  • Traditional Chinese character found on silk cloth. The character ‘shou’ means longevity.
  • Indian paisley, used in henna (mendhi) designs to adorn the hands.
  • Vietnamese motif from a piece of woven fabric.
  • Middle Eastern motif (Iranian).
  • Baby fronds symbolising new growth.

A Race Relations Day celebration

2005 Amanda Golding launched the Earth people concept, a Wellington wide celebration for Race Relations day, at Newtown Library. This was supported by Desigin Thulkanam from the Human Rights Commission and Joris de Bres attended the event.

There was plenty of discussion while making the figurines about acceptance of people of all ethnicities, and how we may look different from one another but in essence we are all the same, needing food, water and family, we are one people!

Here is a slideshow of some wonderful clay figurines from Earth People events since 2005. Check out the list of participating libraries on our Earth People Event page and come and join us at an Earth People Event in 2009!