New names for Hollyford Track lodges reflect traditional Ngāi Tahu whakaaro

Nov 28, 2023

The renaming of two luxury lodges on the Hollyford Track in Fiordland National Park is part of a larger kaupapa (project) of anchoring Ngāi Tahu Tourism businesses within the cultural heritage of the iwi.

Paul Madgwick, Chairman for one of the local rūnanga, Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio, says that the new names for the lodges Waitai and Ka Tuku were carefully chosen based on whakaaro (thinking) about traditional Ngāi Tahu place names for the surrounding areas.

“Whakatipu Waitai is the Ngāi Tahu name for Martins Bay so Martins Bay Lodge has been renamed Waitai to reflect this whakaaro,” Madgwick says.

Whakatipu Waitai is also one of the names for nearby Lake McKerrow.

Meanwhile, Whakatipu Ka Tuku is one of two Ngāi Tahu names for Hollyford River.

“There are 11 place names in the area which reference Whakatipu,” Madgwick says.

“We felt that it was important to have this connection between the two lodges and so chose Ka Tuku as the new name for Pyke Lodge,” he says.

Hollyford Track’s General Manager Adam Dooney says that working side by side with Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio was “very special”.

“The new names are an important milestone in the transformation of the lodges following a $3 million investment by Ngāi Tahu Tourism over the past three years,” Dooney says.

“As part of the journey we are on we are also looking at other ways we can better represent Ngāi Tahu and mana whenua Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio culturally within the lodge buildings through aspects such as artwork and signage,” he says.

Kā Huru Manu, the Ngāi Tahu Cultural Mapping Project, is playing an important role in mapping and reclaiming the traditional place names and histories within the Ngāi Tahu rohe. You can view the Kā Huru Manu atlas here.