More Auckland parks will get Māori names after councillors today passed support for a programme of telling the stories of Tāmaki and increasing the visibility of te reo and Māori culture and history.
The decision to endorse Te Kete Rukuruku includes the Māori naming of parks and places and in principle the inclusion of regional parks and cemeteries.
It is expected that, in most cases, Māori naming will be dual naming, meaning a Māori name is added to the existing name to enrich the stories about that place, while not taking away from a current name.
Signs will present both names in line with the Māori language policy and signage guidelines, which means the te reo Māori name will be presented first.
Te Kete Rukuruku is a programme involving the collection and telling of the unique stories of Tāmaki Makaurau. It also involves the reclamation or identification of new Māori names and narratives across Tāmaki Makaurau.
The measures, adopted by the environment and community committee during Māori Language Week, responds to the council's Māori Language Policy adopted in 2016.
Te Kete Rukuruku is a partnership between the council and the 19 mana whenua of Tāmaki Makaurau. Mana whenua have been actively working on the programme and have agreed on the new Māori naming process.
The first phase of the programme is focused on Māori naming of community parks within the decision-making responsibility of local boards. Eleven boards have joined the programme.
There are 53 regional parks and cemeteries under the governance of the Environment and Community Committee, of which 32 per cent have an agreed Māori name.
In line with the Māori Language Policy, reclaiming or identifying new Māori names for parks and places will have the following benefits:
• Accelerate the public visibility of the Māori language as a cultural treasure which is at the heart of Māori identity;
• Contribute to the Māori language being visible, heard, spoken and learnt;
• Celebrate and create connections with the rich Māori heritage of Tāmaki Makaurau;
• Enable or support storytelling and interpretation of place and communities; and,
• Provide a practical means for the council to fulfil its commitments and obligations to Māori.