Kīngitanga proverb inspires new name for Te Ngira

The University of Waikato’s National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, commonly known as NIDEA, has rebranded to Te Ngira: Institute for Population Research.

16 Dec 2021

Te Ngira means the needle in te reo Māori. The name was inspired by a well-known whakataukī (proverb) attributed to Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, a Waikato chief and the first Māori King.

The National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis has rebranded to Te Ngira: Institute for Population Research.

“Kotahi te kōhao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro mā, te miro pango, te miro whero”.

This translates to “there is but one eye of the needle, through which white, black and red cotton must pass”.

Director of Te Ngira, Professor Francis Collins, says King Pōtatau’s words and the Institute’s new name resonate strongly with his team.

“The multiple threads reflect our collaborative approach and the multiple knowledges, disciplines and methodologies we draw through the lens of population studies,” says Professor Collins.

The name also underscores the important relationship that the University has with Waikato-Tainui and the Kīngitanga, and the centrality of the Institute’s research on Māori and Indigenous populations.

NIDEA began in 2010 as a collaboration led by the University’s Population Studies Centre, involving the Migration Research Group and Waikato Management School, as well as Wellington-based organisation, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust.

Today, Te Ngira is the leading national institute of demographic and population-focused research in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Its researchers carry out world-leading research in the areas of Indigenous demography and data sovereignty, temporary migration and Pacific health equity. Te Ngira’s four interconnected research platforms are Māori and Indigenous populations, population health and equity, migration and population change.

Its research is widely used by decision makers from government agencies, te ao Māori organisations, community groups and businesses.

Te Ngira Director, Professor Francis Collins.

Te Ngira is the only research institute in the country that offers a research-led major in Population Studies and graduate degrees in Population Studies and Demography. Graduates are highly sought after for academic iwi, government and NGO research and leadership roles.

As part of the rebranding process, the Institute consulted with Māori staff and consultants, and received the support and endorsement of the Kīngitanga.

Te Ngira’s new logo depicts the three threads going through the eye of a needle. Once through the needle, the threads begin to grow and flourish.

The koru and mangopare symbols represent transformation and strength. The threads also take the shape of a person, and the centre red thread reflects the core intention of Te Ngira, which is people.



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