Some supporters may have noticed that, this year, the Counties Manukau PIC Steelers have a new crest which features the Kāeaea, being the New Zealand falcon. When the Steelers recently discussed who they represented and where their identity came from, it was found that crucial aspects of our identity were laying undiscovered. Knowing that identity and belonging are fundamental elements in the sustained success of a team, the Steelers coaching team researched our history and worked hard to identify what it means to be a Steeler and part of Counties Manukau Rugby.
The Steelers coaching team determined that the Kāeaea (which is a bird of prey that actively seeks out, strategises, and overpowers its target) encapsulates the values and character of a Steeler. The Kāeaea acts as the Kaitiaki (guardian) of the part of the Counties Manukau region where the iron sand lays at Karioitahi Beach (which is why steel is produced in the province) as well as the Waikato River and Manukau Harbour. As Kaitiaki, it is armed to protect and enhance our sea, sky and land.
With its world renowned speed, precision and spectacular strategies, the Kāeaea was deemed to be a powerful representation of Counties Manukau Rugby. With this in mind, the union developed a new crest that connects Counties Manukau with this prestigious guardian that represents key aspects of our identity.