Māori place names to be reinstated around Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula

Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke yesterday welcomed the reinstatement of 13 correct te reo Māori place names across Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula.

The Minister for Land Information Eugenie Sage formally announced the approval of the proposals at an event held at Rāpaki marae.

The decision means the place names will receive official recognition and legal status alongside their European equivalents. Proposals were put forward by the hapū to Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa | the New Zealand Geographic Board.

The event was attended by whānau from the hapū who heard kōrero from the Minister as well as Tā Tipene O’Regan and Cultural Heritage and Identity Portfolio Chair Donald Couch.

Mr Couch, who has worked with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the New Zealand Geographic Board on the proposals said a lot of work had gone into getting the names formally recognised.

“This is a task which needs to be done, and one whose time has come. But it does take time, even years.”

Mr Couch acknowledged those involved while noting there was more work to be done in correcting and recognising place names.

“Thank you for your consideration and support for this very important take. Today marks a significant step forward, but the task is not yet finished.”

Mr Couch also noted that many early written texts contained errors and needed to be treated with caution.

“Early written descriptions should not be accepted as authoritative just because they’re deemed early. They must be subject to close scrutiny and evaluation and there continues to be a place in this process for the input and decisions of mana whenua.”

Tā Tipene said he was overwhelmed during a moving speech following the Minister’s announcement.

“Our word is whakapupuni, I am welling up with joy at this phase to which we have come to.”

He spoke of the immense significance of place names and the stories and ancestors they acknowledge in te ao Māori.

“The way of holding our place in the land and in our memory, is in our place names.”

The complete list of names approved today is as follows:


Official Name Former Name
Aua / King Billy Island King Billy Island
Kaitangata / Mansons Peninsula Mansons Peninsula
Ōmawete / Coopers Knob Coopers Knob
Ōrongomai / Cass Peak Cass Peak
Pukeatua / Dyers Pass Dyers Pass
Tapuwaeharuru / Evans Pass Evans Pass
Te Ahi-a-Tamatea Rapaki Rock
Te Heru-o-Kahukura / Sugarloaf Sugarloaf
Te Moenga-o-Wheke / The Tors The Tors
Te Piaka / Adderley Head Adderley Head
Te Tihi-o-Kahukura / Castle Rock Tihiokahukura / Castle Rock
Te Rāpaki-o-Te Rakiwhakaputa Rapaki
Te Upoko-o-Kurī / Witch Hill Witch Hill