Council Coat of Arms

The Arms of the District of Ashburton were first granted to the Ashburton Borough on 1 August 1966.  With local government amalgamation in 1989, the Coat of Arms was adopted by the District of Ashburton.


The coat of arms incorporates portions of the arms of the Lord Ashburton, who was closely associated with the Canterbury Land Settlement Scheme, and portions of the arms of the Turton family, first European settlers in what was to become the Ashburton Borough.

The muzzled Bear's head and the Division of the Arms into three are taken from the Coat of Arms of Lord Ashburton.

The trefoils are taken from the Staffordshire branch of the Turton family, originally granted in 1663.

The blue wavy band is symbolic of the Ashburton River, and the waka (Maori canoe) alludes to a Maori myth in which the Southern Alps of New Zealand is a waka resting on it's side. 

The Mural Crown is a symbol of municipal authority.  The ram's head and the grain sheaf depict the industries that originally produced the dominant source of wealth for the district.

The supporters, minatopus leucocephalus, commonly known as the pied stilt, are wading river birds found in the District.

The motto "Fides Probata Coronat" is that used by the Portreeve and Burgesses of Ashburton, Devon, United Kingdom and appears to have been in use since the granting of the St Lawrence's Charter in 1314 which, amongst other things, founded the forerunner of the Ashburton Grammar School.  Although difficult to translate, its general meaning is "Faith confirms what has been proved good and true" or "Faith crowns true actions".

The Heraldic description of the Arms is as follows:

"Argent on a Fess wavy Azure between in chief a Mural Crown Gules between two Trefoils slipped Vert and in base a Bear's head erased proper muzzled Azure ringed Gules a Maori Canoe Or and for the Crest on a Wreath of Colours A Garb quarterly Vert and Or banded Gules charged with a Ram's head caboshed proper".

In heraldic language the colours are:

Red – 'Gules'                      Black – 'Sable'                  Green – 'Vert'                     Blue – 'Azure'

In heraldic language the metals are:

Silver – 'Argent'                 Gold – 'Or'

Page reviewed: 13 Sep 2013 9:43am