The backlash over the proposed renaming of a reserve shows how difficult it is to change the name of the entire country, warns Wellington City Councilor Tamatha Ball.
But she also says: Bring it.
Te Pati Maori – the Maori party – launched a petition on Tuesday to change New Zealand’s official name to Aotearoa and for towns and cities to be renamed their original Te Rio Maori names.
In August, Wellington City Council was asked to apply the name Waimapihi—now just a preserve and a small stream at the top of Holloway Road in the Arrow Valley—to the entire hillside, including Bullhill Preserve.
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“I have a feeling this change is the only wake-up call,” said an email to council members on Tuesday.
Another wrote, “It appears to be a nonessential or important activity.”
Paul said that if those were the kinds of comments received about changing the name of a “simple reserve,” changing the name of the country and many more cities and towns would generate more. But she said it was a battle worth fighting.
“New Zealand isn’t even an English name – it’s Dutch. It has nothing to do with our country. Aotearoa is a name with a lot of whakapapa, and so is Te Whanganui-a-Tara.”
“I am delighted to be part of a generation that is getting rid of our colonial past and reclaiming that mana when.”
Wellington City Council voted in March 2020 to rename Warebury Street in Berhampur as Tee Warebury Street, after the 19th century Maori leader.
Paul and fellow city councilor Jill Day lobbied for this change. Dai is also a supporter of the Te Patti Maori petition.
“There are always some in the community who are against correcting names, but in my experience they are a small and diminishing minority,” she said.
She said the council was changing names street by street, but that wasn’t fast enough.
Patti Maori’s petition collected more than 5,000 signatures within hours of its launch on Tuesday. New Zealand will become Aotearoa and all towns and cities have been renamed by their original te reo Māori names by 2026, according to the petition.
Party co-leader Debi Ngariwa Packer was ready to deal with the “haters”.
“You will always get people reluctant to change. Progress and decolonization frighten the weak and fanatics,” she said.
Ruri Waititi, the party’s other leader, said Māori were “tired of dying of our ancestors’ names being distorted, ignored and ignored”.
Under the proposed changes, Auckland would be Tamaki-Macao-Raw, Hamilton would be Kerikerua, Wellington would be Te Wanganui-a-Tara, Christchurch would be Totahi, and Dunedin would be Tibuti, according to the full map of Rio Maori. country.
Te reo Māori became an official language of New Zealand when the Māori Language Act was signed in July 1987.
Since then, the names of various places have been changed to their Maori names.
While Te Pāti Māori’s proposal would be a drastic change of name for some places, others would have little to no change under the proposal because they are already known as te reo Māori. They include Taupō, Tūrangi, Paekākāriki, and Hokitika.
Whanganui, who controversially added an “h” to her name in 2015 to match her original Maori name, won’t need another change.