The trophy has been fashioned with Hineruhi (the dawn maiden) as the foundation and inspiration.
Hineruhi is a Māori mythological female deity synonomous with high performance in the performing arts of waiata and kapa haka and is visible as a manifestation of light at the dawn of a new day.
The comparison has been drawn to women’s high performance rugby and the start of the new Sky Super Rugby Aupiki competition.
Hineruhi is referred to when describing an outstanding performance by a wahine (woman) through the expression “Ko Hineruhi koe – You are indeed Hineruhi by virtue of your outstanding performance.”
Hineruhi and the colours of the new dawn (orange, red, yellow) are also contained within the Super Rugby Aupiki logo, so the trophy is strongly connected to the competition tohu.
Hineruhi is undeniably and unquestionably Femine and is instantaneously recognisable as Aotearoa New Zealand, like pounamu.
Hineruhi connects the trophy to:
- High Performance
- Te Aupikitanga ki te Toi ō ngā Rangi – Seeking and ascending to the highest heights.
- Super Rugby Aupiki competition – through the colour and the design on the Super Rugby Aupiki logo.
The Super Rugby Aupiki trophy is the creation of Ngāi Tahu artist Dave Burke of Tauranga and New Zealand Rugby Kaihautu and Māori Cultural Advisory Luke Crawford of Ngāti Porou, Tūwharetoa.
Luke and Dave have been working together since 2010 to ensure the use of te ao Māori (Māori World) concepts and tikanga are authentic, meaningful and safe inside te ao Whutupōro (the rugby world).
They have been working closely with women’s teams at all levels of rugby. From community to high performance women’s teams including Aupiki and Black Ferns players, as well as management and other stakeholders in the women’s game.
Technical support came from Barclay Engravers Tauranga, 3Design of Mount Maunganui and Brett Rangitaawa (Te Atiawa Taranaki, Ngati Raukawa) of Seaview Lower Hutt.
Sky Super Rugby Aupiki kicks off this Saturday, with all teams operating in a bubble in Taupō. The Blues and Chiefs Manawa will open proceedings at Owen Delany Park in Taupō with kick off TBC, with the Hurricanes Poua and Matatū to face off afterwards at the same venue. All games throughout the season will be broadcast live on Sky Sport and various matches will be live on Prime. Round Two and Three and the final will be played at FMG Stadium Waikato. Whilst the country is in the red traffic light setting, no crowds will be allowed at matches.
Follow all the action on the @SuperRugbyNZ social media channels and superrugby.co.nz.