The staff at NZCEO are excited to introduce Kōtui which is the new, rebranded Lighting New Fires. In the 1990s Sir Brother Pat Lynch was responsible for initiating the publication Lighting New Fires which has been for almost thirty years one of our main communication channels. It has proven to be an important communication vehicle in the history of state integrated education and one of the main mechanisms for ensuring stakeholders in state integrated education are informed about the issues of the day. There is always some sadness in losing a valued ‘friend’ and we want to acknowledge Sir Brother Pat Lynch as we move from the old to the new.

In 2022 we began work on rebranding with a vision that aligns with the diversity and strong connections of all our unique special characters within state integrated education. The new name Kōtui denotes the lacing, stitching and weaving of different elements together for a common purpose. The term also sits within a well-known whakataukī where the tui bird calls for us to come together. This emphasises that our strength is in our connectivity and collective talents that we weave to the song of our work and our mission.

The New Zealand Catholic Education Office is grateful to Danny Karatea-Goddard, who as Tūranga Māori for the Archdiocese of Wellington generously gifted this beautiful name, Kōtui. The following explanation of the meaning and significance of the name is from Danny Karatea-Goddard.

The word kōtui denotes the lacing, stitching and weaving of different elements together for a common purpose. Whether they be ideas, actions or completely different parts of a puzzle, the mātui or tui birds’ call, her song is to come together.

She calls us to bring together these elements past, present and future. Her strength is in our connectivity, the collective talents we weave to the song of our work, of our mission.  The beauty of kōtui is found and referenced in this traditional Māori tauparapara incantation.

Te Tangi a te mātui

Kia whakarongo ake ai au
ki te tangi a temanunei
a te mātui.
Tui-i-I,    Tui-i-i,    Tuitui-ā!
Tuia i runga, tuia i raro, tuia i waho, tuia i roto.
Tuia te here tangata
ka rongo te pō, ka ronga te ao.
Tuia te muka tangata i takea mai
i Hawaiki nui, i Hawaiki roa, i Hawaiki pāmāmao
ki te hono i wairua, ki te whaiao, ki to ao mārama
Tihei mauri ora!

I listen to the cry of the tui bird calling
Tui-i-i    Tui-i-i    Tuituia!
Let it be woven above, woven below
woven outside and woven within.
Weave with the threads of humanity.
So they may be heard in the dark veil of the night,
so they may be heard in the world.
Bind together the strands of people who descended
from great the Hawaiki, from the far and distant Hawaiki,
to be one with those in the gathering place of spirits,
and from there into the world of light,
to the enlightened world.
Behold the sacred breath of life!