Search the New Zealand Gazetteer for place names and find out about other types of names.
Place names tell us where we are. They are important signposts of modern, historical and cultural influences and values of the people that gave them. Knowing the correct names for places and their locations is important for everyday communications and activities, such as when emergency services need to identify ’where’ quickly, clearly and accurately.
Dual names recognise the special historical and cultural significance to the community of both original Māori and non-Māori names. Dual naming requires that you use both official names, for example, Aoraki / Mount Cook on official documents. The formatting convention used by the NZGB is for dual names to be separated by a forward slash with a space either side.
Official names are assigned, altered, approved, discontinued, adopted, concurred with or validated by the NZGB or other legislation, such as Treaty of Waitangi settlements, and are listed in the New Zealand Gazetteer.
Alternative names also recognise the special historical and cultural significance to the community of both original Māori and non-Māori names. However, either one or the other of the official names can be used on official documents. The NZGB knows that sometimes people may want to use both names.
Recorded names are names that have appeared in at least two publicly available authoritative publications or databases. They are unofficial because they have not been assigned, altered, discontinued, approved, adopted, concurred with or validated by the NZGB. Many of the place names recorded on official maps and charts are outside the NZGB’s jurisdiction, such as homesteads, roads, streets, tracks and lighthouses. Other recorded names, like Wellington, were in common use before the creation of the NZGB, so they haven’t been dealt with by the NZGB to become official names.