Friday, January 28, 2022

Auckland Council to restore Māori park names

Auckland Council has invited mana whenua to provide Māori names and narratives for 19 parks and reserves across the Devonport-Takapuna area as part of a programme to increase the visibly of te reo Māori and showcase the unique Māori history of the area.

At its business meeting this week, the local board agreed on the following 18 locations to have dual names – a Māori name alongside its existing name:

  • Auburn Reserve (Including site fronting onto Anzac Street)
  • Balmain Reserve
  • Belmont Park
  • Castor Bay Beach Reserve
  • Hauraki Corner Reserve
  • Knightsbridge Reserve
  • Linwood Reserve
  • Milford Beachfront Reserve
  • Milford Reserve
  • Montgomery Reserve
  • Narrow Neck Beach
  • Nile Reserve
  • Northboro Reserve
  • Quarry Lake Reserve
  • Seine Reserve
  • Stanley Bay Beach Reserve
  • Sunnynook Park (pictured).

It is also inviting mana whenua to provide a sole Māori name for 413 Lake Road, a small space on the corner of Esmonde and Lake roads, which is currently unnamed. 

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair, Ruth Jackson says taking the dual naming approach ensures that the park names already in use are not lost but added to. People can choose to continue using the name they’re used to, or the new te reo Māori name – or both.

“One of the things we heard during the development of our local board plan was a desire to hear more about the Māori history of the area, and this programme is an exciting step towards being able to achieve that,” she says.

“We’ve selected a range of parks as an opportunity to learn about and highlight some of these stories from across our whole local board area.”

With the sites now decided, mana whenua will start their research before presenting the names – and stories behind them – to the board before they are formally adopted.

The board still needs to decide which park will receive a full suite of bilingual signs, which will include wayfinding, regulatory and entrance signage in both te reo Māori and English. An interpretive panel outlining the story of the new name in English and Māori is also included.

Signs on the other parks will be updated as they are due for renewal.

The initiative is part of the local board’s participation in the naming component of Auckland Council’s Te Kete Rukuruku programme, a culture and identity programme that collects and tells the unique Māori stories of Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland.

It will see te reo Māori returned to the whenua through the adoption of both contemporary and ancestral Māori names.

It is a partnership between Auckland Council, 15 local boards, and all 19 mana whenua groups that have interests across the region, led by mana whenua.

The programme is a key initiative to achieving outcome six of the 2020 Devonport-Takapuna Local Board Plan – ‘Māori values ngā tikanga a te Māori’ to ensure “our unique Māori history, values and stories are told, celebrated, and embedded into our area”.

The programme also supports Auckland Council’s vision to increase visibility of te reo Māori in our public places so that it is seen, heard, learnt, and spoken in everyday life.

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