NZGB makes official decisions on 699 place names

22 July 2020

On 16 July 2020, the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa notified 699 decisions.

These include: 

  • 273 official place names in the Wellington Region,
  • 382 significant official Māori place names around Te Ika-a-Māui North Island and at the top of Te Waipounamu South Island,
  • 43 place names for undersea features including three discontinued because the features do not exist, and
  • 1 new Antarctic place name.

The majority of place names (655) are part of the Board’s fast track programme to approve existing place names as official.

Some of the better known place names now official include Wellington, Barrett Reef in Wellington Harbour (Port Nicholson), Clareville near Carterton and Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast.

“It may surprise many to learn that the name of the place they live in has not yet been made official, even if it has been used for a long time,” says Anselm Haanen, Board Chairperson.

Once official, place names must be used in all official documents, like road signs, maps, websites and databases.

“It’s important to ensure we preserve and protect place names so that they endure, and we have certainty about their location, extent, origin and authenticity,” says Mr Haanen.

Some of the Māori place names like Tākaka, Eketāhuna and Māhia Peninsula now have macrons applied.

Adding macrons correctly in written Māori makes the meaning of a name clear and assists with pronunciation.

Māori place names, like all place names, have stories behind them, so ensuring their correct spelling will help keep those stories alive.

For example, many of the river names in the south-west of Te-Ika-a-Māui North Island relate to the overland journey of the ancestor, Haunui-a-Nanaia. Turakina River is the river he ‘felled a tree to cross’, Rangitīkei River he ‘strode across’ and Waimeha Stream is where ‘the waters disappeared into sands’.

“Knowing the story behind a name gives it special meaning within the community. When place name proposals are made, having the story is a key criterion in the Board’s considerations,” says Mr Haanen.

Three undersea features east of Te Ika-a-Māui North Island (Māhia Canyon, Matakaoa Re-entrant and Whareama Valley) have been made official following public and iwi consultation held earlier this year. Forty other undersea feature names in the Southern Ocean and around New Zealand plus one in Antarctica were decided.

The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa welcomes any feedback on these decisions by emailing

See NZGB notices - July 2020

To see where they are on a map, search the place names on the New Zealand Gazetteer:

New Zealand Gazetteer

Background and further information

The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa is an independent statutory body that works closely with Land Information New Zealand.

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.

Fast track process: A recorded place name is one that appears in at least two publicly available publications or databases that, in the Board’s opinion, are authoritative. A recorded place name can be approved as official or it can be discontinued, without public consultation. This is known as the fast track process and is set out under section 24 of the New Zealand Geographic Board Act 2008. The Board is working its way through recorded place names under a region by region programme. If the Board is of the opinion that there may be public objection for a recorded place name within territorial New Zealand, then it must follow the full statutory process which includes public consultation.  

Kua whakatau ōkawatia e te NZGB ētahi ingoa wāhi e 699

I te 16 o Hōngongoi 2020, ka pānuihia e te New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa ētahi whakatau e 699. Koia nei ētahi:

  • e 273 ingoa wāhi kei te Rohe o Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara,
  • e 382 ingoa wāhi Māori hira kei Te Ika-a-Māui North Island me te tauihu o Te Waipounamu South Island,
  • e 43 ingoa wāhi kei te takere o te moana, tae atu ki ētahi ingoa e toru kua unuhia i te mea kāore ngā takotoranga i reira, ka mutu
  • 1 te ingoa wāhi hou kei te Tiri o te Moana ki te Tonga. 

Ko te nuinga o ngā ingoa wāhi (e 655) he wāhanga nō te hōtaka ara tere a te Poari e whakaaetia ai te whakamana te ingoa wāhi kua noho kē mai.

Ko ētahi o ngā ingoa wāhi kua whakamanahia e tino mōhiotia ana ko Wellington, ko te Barrett Reef i te Whanga o Pōneke (Port Nicholson), ko Clareville pātata ki Carterton me Waikanae i ngā Tahatika o Kapiti.

Hei tā Anselm Haanen, Toihau o te Poari, “Tērā ētahi ka ohorere i te mōhio kāore anō i whakamanahia te ingoa o te wāhi e noho ana rātou, ahakoa te roa o te ingoa e whakamahia ana.”

Ina whakamanahia, me mātua whakamahi te ingoa wāhi i ngā tānga ōkawa katoa, pērā i te tohu huarahi, te mahere whenua, te paetukutuku me te pātengi raraunga. 

Hei tā Mr Haanen, “E hira ana te āta whai kia puritia tonuhia, kia tiakina te ingoa wāhi kia noho pūmau ai, kia mōhiotia ōna takotoranga, tōna rahi, tōna pūtakenga mai me tōna motuhenga.”

Kua hoatu hoki he tohutō ki ētahi o ngā ingoa wāhi Māori pērā i Tākaka, i Eketāhuna me Māhia Peninsula. 

Mā te hoatu tika i te tohutō ki te reo Māori e tuhia ana e mārama ai te tikanga o te ingoa, e āwhinatia ai te whakahua tika i te ingoa.

He kōrero kei muri o te ingoa wāhi Māori, pērā i ngā ingoa wāhi katoa, nō reira he āwhina nui kei te tuhi tika i te ingoa e ora tonu ai ōna kōrero.

Hei tauira, he maha atu ngā ingoa awa ki te tonga-mā-uru o Te-Ika-a-Māui North Island e kōrero ana mō te takahi a te tupuna, a Haunui-a-Nanaia, i te mata o te whenua. Ko te Awa o Turakina te awa i ‘turakina ai e ia he rākau hei whakawhiti atu’, i te Awa o Rangitīkei ka ‘tīkeitia te waewae ki te whakawhiti’ i te Manga o Waimeha ‘ka memeha atu te wai ki te one’.

Hei tā Mr Haanen, “Mā te mōhio ki ngā kōrero i takea mai ai te ingoa, e whai mana ai te ingoa i roto i te hapori. Ina tāpaea he tono ingoa wāhi, ka noho take matua tonu ōna kōrero i ngā whiriwhiringa a te Poari.”

Kua whakamanahia ētahi takotoranga e toru i te takere o te moana ki te rāwhiti o Te Ika-a-Māui North Island (a Māhia Canyon, a Matakaoa Re-entrant me Whareama Valley) i muri i te whakapāpā tūmatanui haere me te whakawhiti kōrero ki ngā iwi i te tīmatanga o tēnei tau. Kua whakatauhia anō ētahi ingoa whā tekau i te takere o te moana ki Te Taihuka-a-Pia me ētahi wāhi o Aotearoa, me tētahi anō i Te Tiri o te Moana ki te Tonga.

Ka pai hoki ki te New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa kia tāpaea mai he kōrero mō ngā whakatau nei, nō reira īmēra mai ki

Mō te rārangi o ngā ingoa wāhi e 699, haere ki:

NZGB Notices July 2020

E kitea ai kei hea ake te wāhi i tētahi mahere whenua, rapua ngā ingoa wāhi i te Kahetia o Aotearoa:

Kahetia o Aotearoa

Kōrero o muri me ētahi atu kōrero 

He whakahaere ā-ture motuhake te New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa e mahi tata ana ki a Toitū te Whenua Aotearoa Land Information New Zealand.

Mā te ingoa wāhi e tohu kei hea tātou. He pou tohu hira mō ngā kawenga o te ao hou, o nehe, o te ahurea me ngā uara o te hunga i taunahatia e rātou. E hira ana te mōhio ki te ingoa tika o tētahi wāhi me ōna takotoranga i roto i ngā whakapāpātanga me ngā mahi o ia rā, pērā i te tūtohi a ngā ratonga whawhati tata 'kei hea ake' i runga i te kakama, te mārama me te tino tika.  

Te tukanga ara tere: Ko te ingoa wāhi kua noho kē mai ko tētahi ka kitea i ētahi tānga e rua neke atu e wātea ana ki te iwi tūmatanui, i ētahi pātengi raraunga rānei e whai mana ana, e ai ki te Poari. Ka taea te whakamana te ingoa wāhi kua noho kē mai, ka taea rānei te unu atu, me te kore e kōrero tūmatanuihia. Ka kīia tēnei ko te tukanga ara tere, e noho mai ana i raro i te tekiona 24 o te Ture a te New Zealand Geographic Board 2008. Kei te whāia haeretia e te Poari ngā ingoa wāhi kua noho kē mai i raro i tētahi hōtaka e tirohia ai ko tēnā rohe, ko tēnā rohe. Ki te whakaaro te Poari tērā e tohea tūmatanuihia ai tētahi ingoa wāhi kua noho kē mai o roto i ngā wāhi mana o Aotearoa ake, me mātua whai ia i te tukanga ā-ture whānui ka whakapāpā tūmatanui haere ai.


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