30 April 2015
The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) has agreed to seek public views on the Wanganui District Council’s proposal to add an ‘h’ to the name of the district – correcting the spelling to ‘Whanganui District’.
Consultation will begin in a few weeks, and will run for three months, inviting supporting or objecting submissions. If the change proceeds, it would enable a change of the Council’s name to ‘Whanganui District Council’.
“This proposal is consistent with two previous name proposals for the river and town/city, which recognised ‘Whanganui’ as the correct spelling,” says NZGB Chairperson Mark Dyer.
‘Whanganui’ means ‘the long wait’. This conceptual naming is associated with the Kupe history, when he explored the interior and left a contingent at the estuary.
“The NZGB considered the proposal and supporting information – which included the results of the Council’s online consultation with the community – at its meeting yesterday.
“We agreed to notify the proposal for consultation to give the public a chance to have their say on the proposed change.”
Depending on whether the NZGB upholds or rejects objecting submissions, a recommendation may then be made to the Minister for Land Information to make the final decision.
If the proposal is agreed, the Minister will recommend to the Governor-General to change the local authority name under the Local Government Act 2002. This will allow the Council to change its name accordingly.
The NZGB will notify media and the public when the three-month public consultation is set to begin.
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