Regional | Tāmaki Makaurau

Parks and buildings across Auckland will have dual names and tell stories of Tāmaki Makaurau in te reo

Parks and council buildings across Auckland will be rebranded with Māori and English names to tell a picture of Tamaki Makaurau’s colonised past and its vibrant future.

Fourteen local boards are supporting the 2020 Te Kete Rukuruku initiative, which will showcase the Māori history and stories of Tāmaki Makaurau. One aspect is to add names significant to Māori, to local parks and community places, including libraries and community centres.

In South Auckland, 19 parks and the Papatoetoe War Memorial Library and Papatoetoe Town Hall will eventually have dual names and signage.

Ōtara-Papatoetoe chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia says his board has worked with Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua, Ngāti Tamaoho and Te Ākitai Waiohua and it was about doing the right thing and not a major cost.

“The feedback we have had so far has been positive,” Autagavaia said.

“Our communities are Māori and Pacific and Asian and the response has been encouraging. Most of our communities celebrate these milestones.”

The Auckland local boards’ approach goes against the new Government’s mandate of reverting to English names only for its ministries.

“Local boards across Tamaki have good relationships with mana whenua and one of the issues that has come out of those relationships is how do we restore some of the ingoa [name] Māori stories behind the names of parks,” Autagavaia told the Herald.

“Local boards don’t have too much powe, but this is one of the ways where we do have power over public spaces.

“We want to reinstate those stories so our younger people can know the stories of Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau.”

He said the cost “was on one of the cheaper sides” for a project and as old signage needs replacing, they will be upgraded to include the Māori name and story behind it.

Autagavaia said the story of Hayman Park’s Māori name – Manu-kau Noa Iho – stood out for him. A bilingual interpretative sign to tell the story behind the te reo Māori name is yet to be erected.

“The Tainui waka was portaged overland and they heard all these noises. They thought they were people, only to find out they were birds. That’s what Manu-kau Noa Iho translates to, this is what mana whenua have told us, it’s only just birds, so I think that’s a really great way to capture so many things.”.

Manu-kau Noa Iho-Hayman Park and 17 other parks will have dual names, while Colin Dale Park and Puhinui Reserve near the airport will be renamed as Puhinui and Motatau Park in Papatoetoe will be renamed Poro-toetoe.

The Papatoetoe War Memorial Library will also be known as Te Paataka Koorero o Papatoetoe and Papatoetoe Town Hall, Te Wharau o Kohuora.

- NZ Herald

Public Interest Journalism