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About the medal

About the medal

Design of the Medal

humanities medal front

Humanities Aronui Medal (front) feature woven kete (bag)

humanities medal back

Humanities Aronui Medal (back) featuring traditional poutama design of the weaving of the kete


The woven kete (bag) represents the Kete Aronui, the kit of knowledge that was brought back from the heavens by Tanenuiarangi. The traditional poutama design of the weaving merges with modern symbols of knowledge – the new culture linking to the old.  The theme of Aronui ‘knowledge that makes us human’ is signified by the many faces but brought down to the individual in the single fingerprint on the reverse.

The medal has been cast in bronze and patinated brown and is 100mm in diameter.  It was designed in Paris by internationally renowned artist, Marianne Fountain, a graduate of The University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts.

Background of the Medal

In  May 2010,  the  Humanities Advisory Panel of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi agreed to instigate the Humanities Aronui Medal to honour research or innovative work of outstanding merit in the discipline.