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Best Awards: Trails of Taonga by Clemenger BBDO Wellington

In Māori culture, taonga are precious treasures that are passed down from generation to generation. The design team at Clemenger BBDO Wellington wondered if it could create a new type of taonga that could carry the stories of children who’d been cared for and thank the carers for their kindness in caring for them. This project was awarded the Ngā Aho Award Purple Pin at the 2018 Best Awards. 

Ngā Aho Award Purple Pin

Trails of Taonga by Clemenger BBDO Wellington

Creative director: Brigid Alkema

Design director: Mark Dalton

Client: Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children

The design they’ve created depicts tamariki (children) at the centre, protected and supported by layers of family, whānau and community. It is based off what the kids felt was the right symbol to base the taonga on.

On social media, people can nominate others to receive the taonga by telling their story via a secure, open-access online form. A group of children read the stories and choose the people they think are most worthy of receiving the taonga. The taonga are kept by these people for a while, before being returned and passed-on to the next deserving person.

Each time the taonga are passed from hand-to-hand, their mana grows, and the five taonga leave trails of gratitude wherever they go across New Zealand, inspiring people to help the country’s most at-risk children.



As the judges said of the Trails of Taonga project and its greater mission: “He tamaiti tu, he tamaiti ora. A child uplifted, is a child who will flourish. This project for the recently formed Ministry for Children, Oranga Tamariki, has designed a fresh approach to uplifting ‘at-risk’ children through fresh design. This was not just a design collaboration, it was a wide community collaboration asking everyone to step forward and help a child in need. The resultant series of exquisite taonga, created by carvers and sculptors to recognise those who step forward and help, are leaving a trail of aroha through the many hands and hearts they touch.”

Clemenger BBDO Wellington executive creative director and creative director for the Trails of Taonga project Brigid Alkema said, “We’re so grateful for this award. It’s validation of what has been a profoundly inclusive, collaborative and meaningful project for all who touched it. Carvers, sculptors, storytellers, and communities have all rallied around the important task of lifting our precious tamariki up, and long may this goodwill continue.”

Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi. Ma whero ma pango ka oti ai te mahi.

With your basket and my basket, the people will live. With red and black, the work will be complete.

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