NZGB announces decisions on 681 place names
19 December 2019
The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) has notified 681 place names, including 650 in New Zealand’s area of interest in Antarctica.
The majority of the Antarctic place names are corrections or improvements to positions. This is part of an international initiative to improve the accuracy of geographic information by countries with Antarctic naming interests.
The Minister for Land Information and the NZGB have also corrected two district names:
• Otorohanga District will become Ōtorohanga District on 17 January 2020. This follows a request from Ngāti Maniapoto iwi as part of its Treaty settlement negotiations. The district name is now spelled correctly with a macron. The name means stretched out/extended.
• Opotiki District will become Ōpōtiki District on 17 January 2020 as the result of a proposal from Opotiki District Council. The Council was keen to align the district’s name with its practice of using Ōpōtiki in its promotional material. It also recognises the importance of its partnerships with mana whenua and promotes te reo Māori and tikanga. The district name will align with the town name, Ōpōtiki, which is already official. Ōpōtiki relates to the arrival of the tipuna Tarawa who released his pet tanahanaha (fish) into a spring. The spring became known as ‘Ōpōtiki-Mai-Tawhiti’ meaning ‘the pets from afar’.
A further 29 place names in Southland Region are also official as part of the NZGB’s fast-track process to convert unofficial existing names to official. These names are recorded in Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu’s online Kā Huru Manu cultural heritage atlas and most are in long term use on authoritative maps.
For the lists of all 681 place names, see here