Hastings District Council has announced it will replace more than 20 road signs across the city centre with new versions that will include te reo Māori translations.
The Council says the replacements will address the poor condition of the signs that have been affected by sun exposure over time.
Signs will be renewed on the CBD ring road (Maraekākaho Road/Pakowhai Road, St Aubyn Street, Hastings Street and Southampton Street). Signs on the main roundabout into Havelock North will also be replaced.
The use of te reo Māori translations along with the English words is an expression of Council’s Heretaunga Ararau Te Reo Māori Action Plan.
The plan was launched in 2020 to celebrate the language, with the aim of Hastings being a te reo Māori city by 2040.
Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst said it was important to recognise the status of te reo Māori as a
taonga of iwi Māori and to celebrate and support the revitalisation of the language in Hastings.
“Being familiar with te reo Māori, along with mana whenua aspirations, values and cultural customs helps us to acknowledge our unique cultural heritage and identity, and build stronger, more equitable communities,” said Mayor Hazlehurst.
The implementation of the Heretaunga Ararau Te Reo Māori Action Plan is guided by a memorandum of understanding with Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.
Ngāti Kahungunu chair, Bayden Barber, welcomed the introduction of te reo Māori on the new signs.
“It’s very important for our Ngāti Kahungunu identity, our tikanga. They talk about place and our connections to that place and we are happy seeing that being recognised in this way.”
Downer NZ has been contracted to install the signs.