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Consultation Begins For Seafloor Name Proposals

The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) is inviting submissions on proposals to alter three undersea feature names:

Proposed NameCurrent NameLocation
Māhia CanyonPoverty CanyonOffshore from Mahia Peninsula
Matakaoa Re-entrantMatakoa Re-entrantOffshore from East Cape
Whareama ValleyWhareama Sea ValleysOffshore from the Wairarapa coast

The proposal to change Poverty Canyon to Māhia Canyon means the name would align with the nearby Mahia Peninusla. The Whareama Valley proposal drops ‘Sea’ and identifies the feature accurately as a single valley, and the Matakaoa Re-entrant proposal corrects the spelling from Matakoa.

The NZGB says these Māori names help preserve and strengthen their land-based names. Māhia recalls the name that Ruawharo gave when recalling the murmurings from home, Whareama meaning the house with carved posts, and Matakaoa describes the surface of the tide as it churns over a reef.

Consultation on these proposals is open between 2 June and 2 July 2020.

Submissions supporting or objecting to any of these proposals can be made online here, emailed to, or posted to the Secretary of the New Zealand Geographic Board, c/o Land Information New Zealand, PO Box 5501, Wellington 6145.

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