Downer NZ named finalist in design awards for Matariki trucks

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 18, 2021

Downer NZ has been named as a finalist in the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards.

The company has been nominated under the Business Communications 2021 category for its work on two Scania trucks that feature the story of Matariki.

In 2020, Downer undertook a campaign that involved the transformation of eight Scania trucks. The trucks were painted black for “maximum impact” and provided a canvas to paint messages.

“These trucks have become moving billboards for our company, by showcasing artwork that tell four compelling stories about our country, our people, our partnerships, and our journey,” Downer NZ said.

The initiative was a piece of a bigger project to show Downer NZ’s commitment to inclusivity and acceptance, as part of the company’s ‘Own Different’ diversity campaign.

Downer NZ said it was important that the artwork considered Takatāpui (gender), kaumātua elders (age and wisdom), takatāpui (sexual orientation), Ngāti Mātāmuri (minorities) and values of manakitanga (kindness), kotahitanga (unity), and whānaungatanga (reciprocal relationships).

The first two trucks in the series told the story of Matariki, a cluster of stars seen in the winter sky, signalling the start of the Māori New Year.

“We wanted to honour this celebration of the people of Aotearoa, our culture and our community that connects us to the past and present while reflecting on how we are connected, and the world around us,” Downer NZ said.

In celebration of Māori Language Week 2020, Downer released the first two Scanias.

“The vision for the artwork was to create a design that incorporated the celebration of Matariki and the importance of Te Reo Māori. We also wanted to recognise and uphold the relationship that we have with Māori as partners of the Crown through the signing The Treaty of Waitangi and that Māori are holders of the spiritual power (mana) of Aotearoa,” it said.

“All these important elements had to be considered, while still being mindful of our company brand elements that needed to be incorporated.

“We wholeheartedly tautoko the continued revitalisation of Te Reo in Aotearoa and wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate it with the people of Aotearoa by sharing this design as the truck moves through communities doing its daily work.”

The two trucks are now out in the field working in the Taumarunui and Bay of Plenty regions.