Minister to decide English & Māori names for New Zealand’s main islands

1 August 2013

The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) will recommend to the Minister for Land Information that New Zealanders be given a choice about whether to use the English or the Māori names for the country’s two main islands.

Public consultation on the proposals closed on July 5, and the Board met on July 31 to consider the submissions.
 
NZGB Chairperson Dr Don Grant says that the Board was encouraged that the overwhelming majority of public submitters wanted the choice to use the English or Māori names.
 
“In total, the Board received 2,608 submissions from 1,329 submitters. Of the submissions, 1,842 were in support of one or more of the proposals and 766 opposed to one or more.”
 
Of the submissions received for each proposal: 64 percent supported Te Ika-a-Māui; 65 percent supported Te Waipounamu; 87 percent supported North Island; and 88 percent supported South Island.
 
“That said, the numbers were not the main consideration. The Board is guided more by the reasons provided by submitters for their support or objection. The Board carefully considered the supporting and opposing submissions, and this has informed its recommendations to the Minister.”
 
The Board will now put its recommendations into a report which, along with submissions, will be sent to the Minister for his final determination. Submissions will not be released until the Minister has made and announced his decision.
 
“Once the Minister has made his final determination, it will be gazetted as official and notified publicly.”