A powerful expression of connection, unity, and identity is captured in Te Amokura, the distinctive jersey the Vodafone Warriors will wear in their Indigenous Round encounter with the Newcastle Knights at Moreton Daily Stadium on Saturday.
After being based in Australia for a third straight season, the jersey strongly connects the club with its New Zealand roots.
It was developed in partnership with Puma and Te Tairāwhiti-based tā moko artists Maia Gibbs (Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kahungungu) and Henare Brooking (Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) of Toi Ake māori creative studio.
Te Amokura is a powerful expression of the Vodafone Warriors’ connection, unity and identity taking its inspiration from the manu (bird) of the same name, known across the Pacific, Australia and Aotearoa.
The amokura helped the great navigators of the Pacific chart the largest body of water in the world. It is known for its two distinct red elongated tail feathers which were highly prized by foremost warriors and chiefs throughout Te moana nui a Kiwa. These are represented by two red strips on the back of the jersey.
The colours represent significant elements of the club’s identity but also the journey over the last three seasons and the sacrifices made by players and staff to base themselves away from home, their families and their fans.
Blue represents mana moana | The ocean that connects Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific, carrying our collective whakapapa.
Green represents mana whenua | The land, Aotearoa acknowledging the Vodafone Warriors’ true home and importantly Australia’s mana whenua, the Aboriginal whanaunga and the original people of Australia who have played host to the team over the last three seasons.
Red represents mana tāngata | The people, connecting players past, present and future, interweaving the whakapapa of each individual as they move into the field of battle.
The black represents Te Pō, A place of development and learning while the white is Te Ao, a place of expression and action.
The jersey is like a korowai (cloak) that adorns the wearer, not just as a jersey but as a representation of their own journey. It is a celebration of the Vodafone Warriors’ cultural identity and a representation of the connection they share as indigenous people across the world.