More than 20 places receive dual English and Māori names from Land Information New Zealand

By Meriana Johnsen of RNZ

Another group of places across the country now reflect both Māori and Pākehā history after receiving dual names this year.

Land Information New Zealand has given twenty-two places from Fiordland to the East Cape both English and Māori names.

In Gisborne, Cook Landing Site Historic Reserve is now also officially Puhi Kai Iti, and the Māori name for Poverty Bay, Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, has been restored.

Bulli Point in Lake Taupo will also be named Te Poporo as part of the Ngāti Tūwharetoa Treaty Settlement.

As part of the Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū bill, which passed into law in May this year Hicks Bay is also called Wharekahika and East Island, Whangaokeno.

Tamatea, the Māori name for Dusky Sound, was one of the sixteen sounds and inlets of Fiordland that received dual names earlier this month.

View from the shore of Coal Island, looking up Preservation Inlet in Fiordland's remote southwest. The inlet's name is now Rakituma / Preservation Inlet.
View from the shore of Coal Island, looking up Preservation Inlet in Fiordland's remote southwest. The inlet's name is now Rakituma / Preservation Inlet. Photo credit: RNZ / Alison Ballance.

It's secretary Wendy Shaw said it was proposed by a tourism operator in the area, who wanted to be able to share the Māori history with tourists.

She said the board, and local iwi Ngāi Tahu were "very excited" about restoring the Māori names.

Ngāi Tahu kaumātua Tā Tipene O'Regan said that the names have been restored "to their appropriate place".

"The important thing about these dual names is it records a bicultural history but from my point of view it brings the old traditional names assigned by our ancestors back to the places, they're the first names these places had."

"I'm quite happy to have the other names attached to them but they're the ones that should not be forgotten."

Tamatea was mythical exploring ancestor, whose legacy was brought over by Polynesian ancestors when they first arrived in New Zealand some 800 years ago.

O'Regan said there are names associated with Tamatea all around Fiordland, Southland, and the Takitimu mountains, which are named after his waka which was wrecked at the mouth of the Wairau river.

Most of the names on the list came from the ancestor Tūteraki Whanoa, who according to the Waitaha people carved out Te Wai Pounamu so humans could live there, O'Regan said.

"The last great work that he undertook after he invented all the peninsulas on the Eastern Coast, and then he went up into the Grey River and invented valleys, he then went down and chopped out the Fiords, and our friend Tūteraki Whanoa had an assistant there who was responsible for all the forests and greenery."

He said it was huge for the Māori names to have equal recognition with the names given by Cook, who are mainly named after passing whalers or Sydney merchants who landed sealing gangs there."

"But it's hugely important to us because these are the names by which our old people know these places and they're quite extraordinary beautiful of course."

The full list of names are:

  • Tamatea / Dusky Sound
  • Te Awaroa / Long Sound
  • Te Korowhakaunu / Cunaris Sound
  • Moana-whenua-pōuri / Edwardson Sound
  • Te Rā / Dagg Sound
  • Te Puaitaha / Breaksea Sound
  • Kaikiekie / Bradshaw Sound
  • Te Houhou / George Sound
  • Te Hāpua / Sutherland Sound
  • Te Awa-o-Tū / Thompson Sound
  • Taitetimu / Caswell Sound
  • Taiporoporo / Charles Sound
  • Taiari / Chalky Inlet
  • Rakituma / Preservation Inlet
  • Hāwea / Bligh Sound
  • Hinenui / Nancy Sound
  • Maniaiti / Benneydale
  • Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay
  • Puhi Kai Iti / Cook Landing National Historic Reserve
  • Wharekahika / Hicks Bay
  • Whangaokeno / East Island

RNZ

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