Coat of Arms
"Even the most painstaking history is a bridge across an eternal mystery."
- Bruce Catton, Prefaces to History.
Coat of Arms granted on 1 December 1965
The Coat of Arms was granted to the City by the Earl Marshall of England on 1 December 1965, the warrants having been signed by the Garter Principal King of Arms, the Clarenceaux King of Arms and the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms were instigated while Porirua was still a Borough.
The Coat of Arms was eventually adopted by the City by way of a bylaw (Porirua City General Bylaws, Part XXIII 1969 - Coat of Arms - amendment No. 9 - 1969) which came into effect on 27 November 1969.
Description of the Coat of Arms
(in heraldic terms as contained in the original grant - see Letter Patentese below)
Blazon: Vert two Piles Barry wavy of ten Argent and Azure and for the Crest on a Wreath of the Colours in front of a Lymphad proper Sail set Pennon flying Gules Flags flying Azure a Whale proper. For Supports: on the dexter side a Private Soldier of the 58th Regiment of Foot in the uniform of the early Nineteenth Century and on the sinister side a Maori Warrior proper.
The Field of the Shield is Green and is charged with two Piles divided into five silver and five blue wavy bars.
The Crest is a Whale in natural shape and colour in front of an ancient galley with sail set red Pennon and blue flags flying. The whole surmounts a wreath of green and silver. The mantlings are green and silver with colours reversed on each side.
The Supporters are as described in the blazon. It should be noted that in heraldry terms "dexter" and "sinister" for right and left respectively are used as though the shield were being held face outwards in front of the body. Hence the Soldier, though he appears on the left as we look at the shield, is described as the right-hand supporter.
The Motto "Mo Te Katoa Nga mahi" is translated "All That is Done is For the Benefit of All".
The green colour of the field depicts the greenness and rural atmosphere of the countryside which existed when Porirua was first settled. The blue and white triangles (Piles) are symbolic of the two arms of the Porirua Harbour.
The Whale recalls the main occupation of the first European settlers at Porirua and Titahi Bay whilst the galley, or sailing ship, recalls the ships which were so very much in evidence in Porirua Harbour between 1830 and 1850.
The Soldier supporter recalls that the 58th Regiment was one of the British regiments which spent some time in the Porirua district in the early days of its settlement.
The Maori warrior symbolises the long association of the Maori people with Porirua.
Bylaw Adopting the Coat of Arms
The Bylaw adopting the Coat of Arms states as follows:
- Ownership: It is hereby declared that the Corporation of the City of Porirua is the sole and exclusive owner of the said Coat of Arms.
- Consent to Use: No person shall make use of the same or of any copy or imitation of the same in any manner whatsoever without the prior written consent of the Council.
- Use on Articles for Sale: Without prejudice to the generality of the last preceding clause, no person shall:
- For the purpose of sale apply or cause to be applied to any article the Coat of Arms or any colourable imitation thereof without the prior consent in writing of the Council.
- Knowing that the said Coat of Arms or any colourable imitation thereof has been applied to any article without the prior consent in writing of the Council sell that article or cause it to be sold or offer or expose that article for sale or cause it to be offered or exposed for sale.
As previously mentioned, the use of the Coat of Arms is strictly controlled. In addition to the Bylaw, the Porirua City Council has formulated the following policy:
- No right shall be granted to the use of the Coat of Arms unless the words "City of Porirua" are incorporated in the approved design.
- The Porirua City Council shall have the discretion to withdraw the right granted to any organisation to use the City's Coat of Arms.
- The right to use the Coat of Arms shall not be transferable.
- Any request for the use of the Coat of Arms should be directed to the Chief Executive and should contain as much supporting information as possible.
Letter Patentese to Coat of Arms
"TO ALL AND SINGULAR to whom these Presents shall come Sir Anthony Richard Wagner, Knight, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Garter Principal King of Arms, Sir John Dunamace Heaton-Armstrong, Knight, Member of the Royal Victorian Order, Clarenceux King of Arms and Richard Preston Graham-Vivian, Esquire, Member of the Royal Victorian Order, upon whom has been conferred the Decoration of the Military Cross, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, Send Greeting! Whereas Whitford James Brown, Esquire, Mayor of the CITY OF PORIRUA In the Dominion of New Zealand, hath represented unto The Most Noble Bernard Marmaduke, Duke of Norfolk, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England and One of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council that the Borough of Porirua was constituted on the First day of September 1962 by Order in Council in the New Zealand Gazette of the Thirtieth day of August of that year and that the said Borough was proclaimed a City on the Second day of October 1965 by the name of the City of Porirua. That the Mayor, Councillors and Citizens of the City of Porirua are desirous of having Armourial Ensigns duly assigned to them under lawful authority and he therefore, on their behalf, hath requested the favour of His Grace’s Warrant for Our Granting and assigning such Armorial Bearings and in the same patent such Supporters as may be proper to be borne and used by the City of Porirua on Seals or otherwise the whole according to the Laws of Arms And forasmuch as the said Earl Marshal did by Warrant under his hand and Seal bearing date the First day of December 1965 authorize and direct Us to grant and assign such Armorial Bearings and such Supporters accordingly Know Ye therefore that We the said Garter Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster in pursuance of His Grace’s Warrant and by virtue of the Letters Patent of Our several Officers to each of Us respectively granted do by these Presents grant and assign unto the CITY OF PORIRUA The Arms following that is to say:- Vert two Piles wavy of ten Argent and Azure. And for the Crest On a Wreath of the Colours In front of a Lymphad proper Sail set Pennon flying Gules Flags Azure a Whale proper as the same are in the margin hereof more plainly depicted And by the Authority aforesaid I the said Garter do by these Presents further grant and assign unto the CITY OF PORIRUA the Supporters following that is to say:- On the dexter side a Private Soldier of the 58th Regiment of Foot in the uniform of the early Nineteenth Century and on the sinister side a Maori Warrior proper as the same as are also in the margin hereof more plainly depicted the whole to be borne and used forever hereafter by the City of Porirua on Seals or otherwise according to the Laws of Arms In witness whereof We the said Garter Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms have to these Presents subscribed Our names and affixed the Seals of Our several Officers this Fifteenth day of December on the Fifteenth year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith and in the years of our Lord One thousand nine hundred and sixty-six."
Crests from the top of the Letter.
One of the seals.
Continue to Porirua City Flags or return to Civic History.