Consider a dual name for our bay
Feedback is being sought from the community on their level of support to change the name of our bay to a dual name ‘Turanganui a Kiwa / Poverty Bay’.
Council agreed in February 2017 to research the name of our bay and engage with the community to put forward a naming application to the New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa.
“Dual names recognise the special historical and cultural significance of both original Maori and non-Maori names,” says Council's director of transformation and relationships, Keita Kohere.
“It’s a longstanding aspiration of many in our community to reinstate the name Turanganui a Kiwa for the coastal bay, promoting and recognising our bicultural heritage.”
When Captain James Cook made his first New Zealand landfall in October 1769, he went on to call the area ‘Poverty Bay, because it afforded he and his crew “no one thing we wanted”.
“Turanganui a Kiwa, which means ‘the great standing place of Kiwa’ is familiar to most people in the district as the Maori name for the Gisborne area” says Ms Kohere.
“The Turanga iwi of Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata and Ngai Tamanuhiri all continue to maintain and uphold the cultural knowledge associated with the Turanganui a Kiwa name.”
Ms Kohere says place names are important reflections of the history, culture and identity of a place, its location and its community.
“Discussion and discontent with the name Poverty Bay has been voiced by our people and early settlers in our district dating back as early as 1886.”
A formal name change means the names would be officially recognised by Government, local authorities and on maps.
“We want to tell the story of the names and find out from the community if they would support the change to a dual name,” says Ms Kohere.
Mayor Meng Foon says it’s time to formally recognise Turanganui a kiwa, as it always has been for iwi.
“Over time our young people will only call this paradise of ours Turanganui a kiwa, much like many other places Mount Egmount – Taranaki.”
“I have had people say to me they were born in Poverty Bay and it should stay that way. But the name Poverty Bay is still there in the name to also recognise our dual history.”
We’re asking people to find more information and complete our survey online, in person at customer services in Fitzherbert Street, Te Puia springs, HB Williams Memorial Library or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I look forward to your feedback on the survey.”
Staff will also be at the Anzac Park Waitangi Day event, to hand out information, answer questions and complete surveys with the community from 2pm Tuesday 6 February.
More information about the dual name
Feedback would be considered by the NZGB who are responsible for official place names on behalf of the Crown.
NZGB consider name change applications against criteria and will also carry out a formal public consultation and submission process, before making a final decision.