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Petone Name Change Proposal

Consultation opens today on a proposal to correct the spelling of the Lower Hutt suburb Petone to Pito One.

The proposal was made to Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa New Zealand Geographic Board by The Wellington Tenths Trust and the Palmerston North Māori Reserve Trust with support from the Hutt City Council and numerous other iwi groups from the region.

“Pito One is the correct spelling for the suburb,” says Board Secretary Wendy Shaw.

“The name refers to the burial of pito (umbilical cord) in the one (sand) as a symbolic tethering of a newborn to the land and their tūrangawaewae (place to stand) and as an expression of ahi kā (continuous occupation).

“Pito One pā was the place where senior rangatira Hōniana Te Puni met William Wakefield and the New Zealand Company settlers in 1839.”

Early correspondence and maps show the use of Pitoni, Pito One, Pito-One and Pitoone, however over time Petone become commonly used.

At various times since 1930 the Board has recognised that the spelling of the name is incorrect but has never formally resolved the matter.

The spelling Pito One has been confirmed by kaumātua and Te Taura Whiti i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission).

The Board would now like to hear from the wider community before any final decisions are made.

Submissions on the proposal can be made in the following ways:

  • Online at linz.govt.nz/consultations
  • By emailing nzgbsubmissions@linz.govt.nz
  • In writing by posting a letter to:
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Secretary of the New Zealand Geographic Board

PO Box 5501

Wellington 6145.

Consultation closes 10 September 2024.

About Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa New Zealand Geographic Board

This year, Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa New Zealand Geographic Board is marking 100 years of official place naming in New Zealand, its offshore islands, Antarctica and on the sea floor.

Find out more about its history here: Celebrating 100 years of place naming | Toitū Te Whenua - Land Information New Zealand (linz.govt.nz). And check out some notable moments.

Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa New Zealand Geographic Board is an independent statutory body. The Board is supported and administered by Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand.

Anyone may propose a name for a geographic feature or place. The Board uses naming guidelines and standards and follows international good practice to help it to make informed, robust and enduring decisions.

The Board recognises the importance of pronunciation in te reo, and macrons support both pronunciation and meaning. Therefore, the Board follows the orthographic conventions of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission).

If the Board doesn't agree with a proposal, it may consult on a different proposal considered to be more appropriate.

The Board consults with relevant agencies, local communities, councils, stakeholders and iwi. It researches all proposals and encourages original Māori place names.

Official place names must be used in all official documents like road signs, maps, websites, databases and publications for tourists.

Anyone can make a submission on proposed place names, either online or by emailing nzgbsubmissions@linz.govt.nz, or by mailing directly to the Board’s Secretary.

Official and recorded place names can be searched in the New Zealand Gazetteer https://gazetteer.linz.govt.nz/.

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