27 dual te reo Māori names set to swing for Māngere-Ōtāhuhu

Publish Date : 05 Apr 2024
Mangere parks recieving Maori names

Twenty-seven parks and three libraries in the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu area will receive Māori names and narratives, as part of Auckland Council’s commitment for te reo Māori to be seen, heard, spoken, and learnt.

Local board chair Tauanu’u Nick Bakulich says, “Our area has 16.4% of people who identify as Māori (compared to 11.5% for Auckland), and our board places great importance on working in and strengthening our partnership with mana whenua to re-establish traditional Māori names to local parks and libraries.”

The board invited mana whenua to name 123 parks as dual names in March 2019.

Sixty-two names were adopted in February 2021  and a further 21 adopted in June 2023 . Eighteen sites were removed as they were unsuitable for naming or no longer under the jurisdiction of the local board.

Twenty-two parks remain from the original list for naming. An additional five parks and three libraries are now being recommended to be included for naming.

“A key theme in our local board plan is Ō Tātou Wāhi or our places, and a part of that is actively promoting Māori names for parks, facilities, roads and other public spaces. By celebrating te ao Māori and nurturing the growth of te reo Māori, our board is contributing to the preservation and revitalisation of this invaluable cultural heritage,” says Bakulich.

Iwi have been invited to name 27 parks and three libraries , as outlined in the report here.

The story behind the name

Some notable names and narratives include:

  • Houpara/Sutton Park in Māngere - name of the rākau (tree/plant) pseudopanax lessonii, a native shrub or small tree that use to grow in the area

  • Kanae-a-tai/Church Street Foreshore Reserve in Ōtāhuhu – The ‘mullet on the tide’ refers to the guardian taniwha Paneiraira, who feasted on mullet in the Tāmaki River

  • Kukume/Wickman Way/Tennessee Reserve in Māngere - means ‘to haul’ and refers to waka being hauled across the Pūkaki portage to the Tāmaki River, and from the Ōtāhuhu waka portage Te Tō Waka into the Māngere inlet close to Harania creek.

All sites are intended for naming as dual names where the Māori name is added to the existing name, and nothing is taken away.

Three iwis provided the names for these sites - Te Ākitai Waiohua, Ngāti Tamaoho and Ngaati Te Ata Waiohua.

About the Te Kete Rukuruku programme

In 2017 Auckland Council launched the Te Kete Rukuruku programme, a culture and identity programme to collect and share the stories unique to Māori in Auckland. The programme is led by iwi, in partnership with the council and its local boards.

One component of this is a naming project which will see iwi and hapu names restored. In some cases, these names existed prior to the current names.

Short narratives explaining the significance of the names are also provided by mana whenua that explain the meaning and show the connection to the place being named.

This is one way for local communities to learn about their Māori history, language and culture. It provides a way of protecting and returning the names and the rich mana whenua stories of Auckland – some of which have been lost over many years.

Find out more about Te Kete Rukuruku.

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