We didn't start out as Royal Society Te Apārangi, and we have had a few other names in the past.
In 1867 we started out as the New Zealand Institute. It was a common way of naming organisations that promoted particular issues. Our issue was to promote science, art, philosophy and literature. It's not that different from our role today.
In 1933 our name was changed to Royal Society of New Zealand, with the approval of King George V. This move pointed to our heritage. The original Royal Society was in London, started in 1660 with similar objectives to ours. Leading thinkers of the day including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle and John Wilkins got together with others to discuss ideas and science in particular. Other Royal Societies started up and James Hector, who helped start the New Zealand Institute came from the Royal Society Edinburgh.
Through the 1990s and 2000s we wanted to take on a Māori name, recognising our cultural heritage and work we were trying to do at the time to build our partnership with Māori researchers. In 2007 we were gifted a name by Professor James Wharehuia Milroy: Te Apārangi, or group of experts. So our 'full' name becomes Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi.
So now, in 2017, we have again changed what we call ourselves. For our everyday name, we use the shortened full name to Royal Society Te Apārangi, to highlight our Māori name. We are again working hard to build our partnership with Māori researchers, but also are renewing our organisation to be more accessible and open to New Zealanders and show our how we are a strongly New Zealand organisation. Our main colours are black, white and red and our logo has changed to a koru. You can read more about our new branding if you're interested.
We still keep our legal name, Royal Society of New Zealand, as this is in our legislation. This is to be used for legal purposes.