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New te reo name gifted for Botanic Garden precinct

New te reo name gifted for Wellington Botanic Garden precinct

A te reo name has been gifted for use in the precinct which includes Wellington Botanic Garden.

The name Paekākā, meaning “realm or perch of the kākā”, was revealed today as part of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

The name, gifted by mana whenua, would apply to the area from the top of the Cable Car around the Pukehinau area, down to the Waipaekākā (stream) and Pakuao Kāinga in Thorndon (located above the end of Tinakori Road) – and take in all Council spaces and places.

“In the past, this area has long been associated with the trapping and snaring of kākā,” says iwi representative Honiana Love.

“Hīnau trees were abundant in the area which attracted the kākā then, and the birds are still drawn here.”

As a result of the name gifting, once it has been through the formal Council processes to adopt the name, it is envisaged Council-run facilities in the Botanic Garden precinct, including the top of the Cable Car and Space Place, would incorporate “ki Paekākā”, which means “at Paekākā” into their branding and signage.

Deputy Mayor Jill Day says ki Paekākā fits well with the Council’s Naming Policy and Te Tauihu te reo Māori language policy.

“This is a name for the precinct which reflects its heritage and which the Council can recognise.

“The area is obviously well known for its European history, but Paekākā reflects what happened before that and this is how Wellington can even further acknowledge its rich past.”

Government weather forecasting agency MetService, which has offices above the Garden, also supports use of the new name.

Paekākā has been gifted as Wellington Botanic Garden celebrates its 150th year.

Gardens Manager David Sole says the name now helps acknowledge the area was once an essential food basket for Māori.

“This area has always been special for Wellingtonians and it will be great to mark what was here in the past and make it part of our future.”

While the name has been offered as a gift by mana whenua, the formal processes to agree the name still have to be undertaken. There will be opportunity for community engagement during that process.

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