The advertising display card shown here is a mid-20th-century advertisement for Fernleaf butter. The use of the fern by dairy producers dates back to the 1880s. In the 2000s fern motifs were in wide use, and strongly identified with 'New Zealandness'. The All Blacks, Wools of New Zealand, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and KiwiRail were among the many organisations that used the fern. The koru, a Māori motif based on an unfurling fern leaf, was used by Air New Zealand. Ferns appeared on the New Zealand coat of arms and military uniforms. In addition, three national women’s sports teams had ‘fern’ as part of their name – the Silver Ferns (netball), the White Ferns (cricket) and the Black Ferns (rugby).
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.