This section presents information on board role, functions and goals.

Role

The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa is New Zealand’s national naming authority responsible for official geographic names in New Zealand, its offshore islands and continental shelf, and the Ross Dependency of Antarctica.

The Board is an independent statutory body of government. The Board’s Secretariat, which is located within Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), provides the Board with administrative support, research assistance and expert advice.

The naming work of the Board contributes to a geographic information system that provides economic, cultural, and social value to all New Zealanders.

 

Functions

The functions of the Board are set out in the New Zealand Geographic Board (Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008 (the Act) and include:

  • considering proposals for new or altered geographic names, including Antarctic and undersea feature names,
  • approving and adopting recorded geographic names as official geographic names,
  • fulfilling Treaty of Waitangi partnership obligations by supporting geographic names used in settlements,
  • validating Crown protected area names, and
  • maintaining a publicly available Gazetteer of geographic names.

 

The Board’s geographic name decisions:

  • provide practical and fundamental location identification and navigation,
  • recognise heritage and culture,
  • are reliable and authoritative, and
  • uphold standardised, consistent and accurate geographic names.

 

Why?

The naming work of the Board contributes to a geographic information system that provides economic, cultural, and social value to all New Zealanders.

 

Goals

When naming places and features the Board’s overarching goals are to:

  • preserve culture and heritage, and
  • build a common understanding of ‘where’.

 

These will be achieved through the Board’s strategic goals to:

  • name features so people can find where they are,
  • ensure people have easy access to trusted and useful information on geographic names so they can understand the names’ history and culture,
  • encourage people to use official names so everyone knows a feature’s name,
  • grow and maintain good local, national and international relationships to get the right information, and
  • continually improve the Board’s capability to make consistent and rigorous decisions.