Story: Nation and government

New Zealand coat of arms

New Zealand coat of arms

The New Zealand coat of arms, adopted in 1911 and revised in 1956, identifies New Zealand as a bicultural country, with a European female figure on one side and a Māori rangatira (chief) on the other. The symbols on the central shield represent New Zealand’s trade, agriculture and industry. The fern is a popular symbol of nationhood, and the crown a reminder that the country is a constitutional monarchy.

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How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'Nation and government - Nationhood and identity', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/ephemera/2575/new-zealand-coat-of-arms (accessed 19 December 2018)

Story by John Wilson, updated 16 Sep 2016