23 October 2015

The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) wants to hear people’s views on proposals to correct the spelling of three unofficial recorded geographic names in South Otago.

The correction would see the features named ‘Tokomairiro’ revert back to the original, and correctly spelled, ‘Tokomairaro’ – ‘Tokomairaro River’, ‘Tokomairaro River East Branch’, and ‘Tokomairaro River West Branch’.

“While both spellings were used from the mid-1800s, the NZGB accepts that ‘Tokomairaro’ is correct and describes the method of pushing waka (canoes) or mōkihi (rafts) along the river with a pole,” says NZGB Secretary Wendy Shaw.

“The NZGB made the proposal after investigation by its Māori Names Committee.  Through the proposal NZGB aims to fulfil its role to correct spelling, and collect and encourage the use, of original Māori place names.”

The NZGB’s Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu member confirmed the original spelling and meaning, which also appears in historic documents.

“Ngāi Tahu wants the original name’s meaning and story to be used, and correcting the spelling would support this.  As the rivers are popular with recreational users and are well-known locally, the NZGB wants to know what the public thinks.”

Public consultation will run for three months, from 29 October 2015 to 29 January 2016.  Anyone can make a submission in support of, or objecting to, these proposals.  Details of this proposal will be available on the LINZ website from 29 October.

From 29 October submissions can be made in writing to the Secretary for the New Zealand Geographic Board:

  • via the LINZ website
  • via post to: Level 7, Radio New Zealand House, 155 The Terrace, PO Box 5501, Wellington 6145
  • by emailing nzgbsubmissions@linz.govt.nz

Media enquiries

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