Whakatauākī: Kotahi te kohao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro ma, te miro pango, te miro whero.

literal: Through the eye of the needle pass the white thread, the black thread, and the red thread.

Metaphorical: This is a comparatively modern whakatauākī that was quoted by Kingi Potatau, the first Māori King. In the year 1858, a large gathering assembled at Ngaruawahia for the religious ceremony of proclaiming Potatau as King. The rite was performed by Wiremu Tamehana Tarapipi.

Present at the ceremony was the high chief of the Tuwharetoa Tribe, Te Heuheu, who during the course of his oration said: “Potatau, today I anoint you kingi for the Māori people. You and Queen Victoria are today united. Let the religion of Jesus be your mantle to protect you; and may the laws of the land be the mat on which to place your feet forever.”

To this, Potatau replied: “There is but one eye of a needle, through which white, black and red cotton are threaded. Hereafter, hold fast to charity, uphold the laws and be firm in the Faith.”

This whakatauākī has implications for both the making of connections and collaboration that may ensue as we work towards supporting a common vision.

In November 2013, Te Kotahitanga was recognised internationally with the conferring of an award from the World Innovation Summit for Education.