The Environment and Community Committee today endorsed the Māori naming of parks and places across Tāmaki Makaurau.
This initiative forms part of the wider Te Kete Rukuruku programme, which involves the collection and telling of unique stories of Tāmaki Makaurau.
“It is fitting that during Te Wiki o te reo Māori, we have confirmed our commitment to increase the visibility and use of te reo across the Auckland region, by identifying new Māori names and their stories to be added to some of our parks and places,” says Environment and Community Committee Chair Councillor Penny Hulse.
Partnering with mana whenua
The programme is a partnership between Auckland Council and the 19 mana whenua of Tāmaki Makaurau, and responds to feedback from mana whenua about the current naming practices, and to the Auckland Council Māori language policy adopted in 2016.
“We are honoured to be working with mana whenua to showcase these names and learn more about our rich Māori history; some of which have been long lost over many years," says Councillor Hulse.
“Currently, only nine per cent of Auckland Council parks and places have Māori names, and this programme aims to significantly increase that and provides a platform to reclaim and celebrate our Māori identity.”
The scope of the Māori naming programme is the naming, renaming or dual naming of parks and places throughout Tāmaki Makaurau. It recognises the rich layer of existing Māori names that can be reclaimed or contemporary names selected.
“This programme will enable Māori to see and hear their language being used in their community, and provides an opportunity for all Aucklanders, and particularly our tamariki, to learn te reo, Māori history and values that are relevant to places throughout Tāmaki Makaurau," she says.
Leadership of local boards
Cr Hulse recognised the leadership of local boards already on this journey, with 11 local boards currently participating in the programme. Those that have not joined will have the opportunity to consider this again in 2019.
The 11 participating local boards are Manurewa, Albert-Eden, Puketāpapa, Whau, Henderson-Massey, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Hibiscus and Bays, Kaipātiki, Papakura and Waitākere Ranges.
The committee also endorsed, in principle, the inclusion of regional parks and cemeteries to Te Kete Rukuruku programme, and a proposed implementation plan will be presented in the second half of 2019.