Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Māori place names International Standard

Media Release

8 October 2008

For Immediate Release

Māori place names recognised as International Standard

E ngā mātā waka o te motu, tēnā koutou katoa.

The National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa is proud to announce a major milestone in the international recognition of New Zealand’s English/Māori placenames. The U.S. Library of Congress has agreed to accept New Zealand dual language place names for inclusion in Library of Congress Subject Headings, the de facto international standard for subject headings. These headings will now be in bibliographic records available on the National Bibliographic Database and for use worldwide.

“This is a fantastic achievement for the National Library and we are very proud of the people who made this happen. This success is testament to our commitment to the recognition of our Māori placenames at an international level” Alison Elliott - Director Content Services, National Library of New Zealand/Aotearoa

These place names are mostly the result of the Crown's settlement with Kai Tahu in 2003, when 88 South Island place names were changed to dual language place names, the majority to joint English/Māori names. In April 2006, after much discussion, the Library of Congress agreed to accept the New Zealand Geographic Placenames Database on the Land Information New Zealand website as the authority for New Zealand placenames. Since then, guidelines for these subject headings have been developed in consultation with the Library of Congress.

John Mohi – Kaiwahakahaere Māori (Māori, Pacific, International) National Library of New Zealand/Aotearoa highlighted the importance of this development in saying “Ka wani kē hoki te reo Māori… this is a world first, it brings key te reo Māori kupu (search terms) into library search engines and desktops around the world”

The first group of dual language place names submitted are mainly changes to existing subject headings, resulting in changes to bibliographic records on the National Bibliographic Database. These are:

1. Aoraki/Mount Cook (N.Z.), formerly Cook, Mount (N.Z.)
2. Southern Alps/ Ka Tiritiri o te Moana (N.Z.), formerly Southern Alps (N.Z.)
3. Stewart Island/Rakiura (N.Z.), formerly Stewart Island (N.Z.)
4. Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park (N.Z.), formerly Mount Cook National Park (N.Z.)
5. Westland/Tai Poutini National Park (N.Z.), formerly Westland National Park (N.Z.)

The new subject heading is Ashburton River/Hakatere (N.Z.)

Future changes and new proposals include:
Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere (N.Z.)
Fox Glacier/Te Moeka o Tuawe (N.Z.)
Milford Sound/Piopiotahi (N.Z.)
Matiu/Somes Island (N.Z.)
Doubtful Sound/Patea (N.Z.)


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Kakī: World’s Rarest Wading Bird Released In Mackenzie Basin

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the birds will add to the 60 released into the Tasman valley earlier this month, significantly boosting the wild population. More>>


IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>


NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland