Making place names official enables clear communication and connections between people, places, and information. They identify where we are as we go about our everyday business.

Our role is to give places and features official names, approve place names that are unofficial, change place names, for example by correcting spelling, and review Crown reserve names. We also maintain the New Zealand Gazetteer and provide advice on place names that are part of cultural redress in Treaty of Waitangi claim settlements.

Our area of responsibility covers New Zealand, its offshore islands, undersea on the continental shelf, and the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.

Our Māori name, Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa, was given to us by the late Sir James Hēnare. Its metaphorical meaning is ‘memorial markers of the landscape’.

Sir James Hēnare on Te Ara