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Consider a dual name for our bay

Posted on
13 Apr 2018
by NZ Geographic Board

Consider a dual name for our bay

Our Place Name

Update on dual name consideration

The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa will shortly be seeking views on whether to change Poverty Bay, where Captain Cook first arrived in New Zealand, to a dual name Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay.

Gisborne District Council made the proposal to the Board.

“The Board met on 12 April 2018 and decided to progress the Council’s proposal, which would place the Māori name alongside the existing English name for the bay,” says Board Secretary Wendy Shaw.

“Tūranganui-a-Kiwa is typically referred to as the great standing place of Kiwa. Poverty Bay was given by Captain Cook when he landed there in 1769 and was unable to re-supply his ship.

“The Board will publicly consult on the proposal for 3 months starting late May. People can make submissions during that timeframe.”

For more information on the dual name proposal

30 January 2018 media release - 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 Egmont – 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.”

Additional information:

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.

New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa.(external link)

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