The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) is New Zealand’s national place naming authority responsible for official place names in New Zealand, its offshore islands and continental shelf, and the Ross Dependency of Antarctica.
The names of New Zealand places and features, reflect the culture and heritage of New Zealanders. They also help give us bearings on where these places are located. The NZGB assigns new names, alters or discontinues current ones, approves and adopts recorded names, and concurs with and validates Crown protected area names.
Anyone can propose a new name or alter an existing name for a place or feature. The NZGB uses a number of criteria to make a decision on any proposal. The NZGB encourages consultation with local communities, local iwi, local Councils or any interested person to help it make informed decisions on naming proposals that will endure.
The NZGB meets two or three times a year to consider name proposals. The meetings are not open to the public; however, the minutes of each meeting are available on request.
Observers from Te Puni Kōkiri (the Ministry for Māori Development), Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) and the Office of Treaty Settlements attend NZGB meetings.Other observers may also attend at the invitation of the NZGB’s Chairperson.
The Antarctic Names Committee, the Māori Names Committee and the Undersea Feature Names Committee, which are appointed by the NZGB, generally meet once a year to advise and make recommendations to the NZGB.