What is the green creature on the Wellington Paranormal shoulder-patch?
January 19, 2021 2:59 AM   Subscribe

In the TV show Wellington Paranormal, the police wear a badge with a coat of arms. I presume the animal on the right is a moa, but what's the dragonish thing on the left?
posted by pompomtom to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I love this question! Assuming that, like the moa, this might be a geologically recent New Zealand extinction, maybe the kawekaweau? Here's an article talking a little bit about its mythical status.
posted by spielzebub at 3:30 AM on January 19 [1 favorite]

You could also ask Greg Cockerill, who designed the Wellington Paranormal uniforms, directly with the contact form on his site.
posted by spielzebub at 3:38 AM on January 19 [1 favorite]

Sad attempt at photo off tv

(And thanks to taz for link fixing!!)
posted by pompomtom at 3:40 AM on January 19

Thanks spielzebub! I've sent them an impertinent question.
posted by pompomtom at 3:47 AM on January 19

A Taniwha?
posted by poxandplague at 4:24 AM on January 19 [3 favorites]

I eagerly await a response from the designer, but taniwha seems like the answer. I'd never known what a taniwha is meant to look like (apart from that WP episode). Had thought they were varied based on the thing they protect.

Thank you all.
posted by pompomtom at 4:32 AM on January 19 [1 favorite]

Also came here to say Taniwha.

The bird is a Moa

Just for completeness
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 4:50 AM on January 19

A tuatara perhaps? Not mythical or extinct, but they do have three eyes (sort of).
posted by Fuchsoid at 5:33 AM on January 19 [1 favorite]

The colour and proportions seem much more like Fuchsoid's tuatara than any of the taniwha linked to.
posted by wreckingball at 7:24 AM on January 19

Hmmm, the neck isn’t thick enough to be a tuatara, plus it’s a living creature, not a cryptid or extinct. Seeing Moa and Taniwha is like a NZ Bigfoot which would make sense given the theme of the show.

Looking forward to hearing from the designer. Presuming he’s in NZ he’ll be waking up soon :) Thanks for asking him.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 10:40 AM on January 19

Has a strong taniwha feel, it's quite an interpretable form.
posted by unearthed at 11:28 AM on January 19

The paranormal wiki says it's a taniwha...

It's too much of a green lizard blob for me to tell.

As a kiwi, I would have thought it was going to be a European/English creature, in contrast to indigenous moa, because I thought it was playing off the NZ coat of arms that has a European woman with a flag on the left and a Maori warrior on the right:

Which means my first thought was that it was supposed to be Nessie (Loch Ness) or a green dragon.

But if it is a taniwha, I guess they're going for mythical creature /taniwha on the left and extinct creature /moa on the right.

Taniwha is appropriate for Wellington, because the myth is that the harbour was once a lake with two massive mountain sized taniwha with not much room to move, and one broke out making the harbour entrance, and the other got stuck on the sandbank, becoming stone/the hill in daylight.
posted by Elysum at 11:49 AM on January 19


Greg Cockerill was kind enough to respond, and says yes, it's a taniwha, and the design is 'loosely based' on the tuatara.
posted by pompomtom at 5:31 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]

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