You may have noticed some changes to how we refer to ourselves recently. Find out more about the journey we’re on to even more strongly support all New Zealanders to live healthier, happier and longer lives.

As an organisation based in Aotearoa New Zealand, it is important to reflect the communities we work with, the language, and the culture that makes our nation unique.  

‘Hato Hone’ is the direct translation of ‘St John’ in te Reo Māori. ‘Hato’ means ‘Saint’, and ‘Hone’ means ‘John’.

Hato Hone St John was officially adopted in late 2022, but we have been using it in parts of our organisation for a while, including on the side of our emergency vehicles for almost ten years.

Like other St John organisations around the world, reflecting local cultures and local history is important and we’re proud to have the full support from St John International to include te Reo Māori in our name. Our name is something we’re proud of and have received very positive feedback from other St John organisations around the world. 

Whether you prefer to call us St John, or if you embrace Hato Hone St John, we remain focused on improving the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders and being there in times of need. Through our emergency ambulance service, community programmes, health and education products and services, we will be right where you need us to help make life-changing differences with our communities. 

Who is Hato Hone St John?

In New Zealand, St John is now Hato Hone St John. You can call us Hato Hone St John or simply St John. Our mission is to make life-changing differences with our communities, and our vision for enhanced health for all remains the same.

How do I say Hato Hone?

It's pronounced 'Hah-tor Hoar-nair'. Like any language, the right pronunciation can be tricky, so check out Māori Dictionary to hear each word and learn more about its meaning.

Has your legal name changed?

No, our legal name is still The Priory in New Zealand of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.  If you have referred to us as St John or St John New Zealand in legal documents such as Wills, you can keep doing this.

What does Hato Hone mean?

Hato Hone is the direct translation of St John in te Reo Māori. Hato means Saint, and Hone means John.

Are your products and services incorporating Hato Hone into their names as well?

No, our products including Ambulance Membership, First Aid Training, Mental Health First Aid and Medical Alarms will remain with St John in their name. The change from St John to Hato Hone St John is simply how we will now refer to our organisation name. 

Why did you change from St John New Zealand to Hato Hone St John?

While we are proud to be part of the International Order of St John, we also wanted to strongly express what makes us kiwi and to reflect the amazing work we do here. By embracing one of New Zealand’s official languages, as well as a part of New Zealand’s unique identity, we can showcase that local connection.

The Treaty of Waitangi is written in both Māori and English and we want to pay respect to this bi-culturalism and the multicultural communities of New Zealand today. We also want to raise more awareness about gaps in Māori health equity, to reach isolated and vulnerable communities, and to achieve health equity for everyone in our country.

Our translated name was not influenced by the government or any other external agencies. It allows us to embrace the unique culture of Aotearoa New Zealand while demonstrating our respect for the people and language.

Why now? What was the process/timeline?

While we formally commenced using our name translation in 2022, we’ve been using Hato Hone St John in parts of our organisation prior to 2022, and we’ve included it on the side of our emergency vehicles for almost ten years.

The process of reviewing our name and logo started back in 2019. During this time, we spoke to our people, teams and stakeholders to understand how we could better connect our services with Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our roll out commenced in 2022 and coincided with the launch of our five-year strategy called Manaaki Ora. We were clear on our commitments to health equity for all, including Māori and we have in place a range of significant programmes that are actively helping address inequities in health. These include Whare Manaaki (rural and isolated community telehealth pilot), Manaaki Mamao (in-home hypertension telehealth service) and Eke Manaaki (iwi focused Ambulance Membership scheme). 

What about the history of St John?

We have a long and rich history; we’ve proudly been supporting all communities in New Zealand since 1885. Even though what we call ourselves has changed, our services remain unchanged.

We proudly continue to run high-quality first aid training, education and community programmes and will continue to serve all communities in New Zealand. We remain committed to the wider purpose of St John International and together strive to uphold the original values. We are delighted this change is endorsed by St John International.


How much did it cost to be known as Hato Hone St John?

To minimise unnecessary spend associated with this change, our updated logo was created in-house and is only being applied to materials, brochures, merchandise etc. when existing stock runs out. We also only apply it to new buildings and vehicles. This means no money or time is spent updating older materials, which means we can focus our attention and finances on caring for people when they need it most.

This means you will be seeing both Hato Hone St John and St John in different places for another few years. 

Why is it Hato Hone St John and not St John Hato Hone?

We’ve followed the same international standards set by the United Nations and the advice of Te Puni Kōkiri Ministry of Māori Development Māori-English Bilingual Signage guidelines which is why Hato Hone is placed before St John. Another example is why you see and hear 'Aotearoa New Zealand' but rarely 'New Zealand Aotearoa'.

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