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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Iwi adamant city name must change

Whanganui Maori are staying steadfast in their view that the letter 'h' should be included in the name of their city.

The Geographic Board has received 880 submissions on the name change to consider at its meeting next month.

Ken Mair from Te runanga o Tupoho says it's a matter of respect, and what seems like a compromise in the Wanganui District Council's submission is unacceptable.

“The proposal by the Mayor would have the name spelt with the h and without the h alongside each other can be seen as a softening by the council but from our point of view we’re adamant our name should be spelt correctly and why would you have the correct name alongside the incorrect spelling of a name,” Mr Mair says.

Wanganui mayor Michael Laws says Ken Mair is harming his cause by not accepting the reality the city's name is currently spelt both with and without the 'h'.


Wairoa District Council is looking for better ways to service its large Maori population.

The northern Hawkes Bay council takes in parts of the Rongomaiwahine, Te Iwi o Rakaipaaka , Kahungunu ki te Wairoa, Pahuwera, Tuhoe, and Ruapani rohe.

Maori liaison officer Ropata Ainsley says after the collapse of its previous iwi committee, the council is going back to the marae level to find a different way to relate to tangata whenua.

Ropata Ainsley says a stronger Maori voice in council matters should lead to better decisions.


Pounamu from Te Waipounamu is the prize on offer at the New Zealand Winter Games starting this week at skifields overlooking the ancient greenstone trails across the Southern Alps.

Ceremony manager Lynne Klap says pounamu carver Ken Tainui has designed medals, and taonga puoro authority Richard Nunns has advised on how traditional Maori instruments can add a fanfare to the prizegiving.

She says organisers wanted to reflect New Zealand's bicultural identity.

The Winter Games Opening Ceremony will be held on Friday at Earnslaw Park on the Queenstown waterfront


A former Lower Hutt deputy mayor is fighting to save the Lower Hutt stream he fished in as a boy.

On behalf of te Atiawa, Te Rira Puketapu is opposing Hutt City Council's application for a 25 year resource consent to discharge screened wastewater into the Waiwhetu stream.

He says the stream used to be a source of koura, tuna and kakahi, until it was contaminated by decades of sewage and factory pollution.

The iwi would consider a consent with five yearly reviews, as long as the council to upgrades its sewage pumping network.

He says there are at least six places where sewage can be pumped directly into the Hutt River and its tributaries.

He says Te Atiawa is talking with the regional council to put together a environmental management plan for the stream.


Wanganui District Council is offering a compromise on the city's name.

Mayor Michael Laws says while the majority of residents don't want an "h' in the city's name, the reality is that spelling is already used for the region, the electorate and the Whanganui river.

In its submission to the New Zealand Geographic Board considering a name change application put forward by Whanganui iwi, the council proposed a two-name solution.

“Given that there are two variants out there now and these variants have coexisted beside each other peacefully for probably the last 169 years then why would the New Zealand Geographic Board be required to choose one over the other. We’re not asking it to,” Mr Laws says.

He says the 'h' in the local dialect is silent, yet the name is commonly mispronounced as phonganui.

Whanganui iwi spokesperson Ken Mair says using the traditional spelling is a matter of respect.


As lawyers in Auckland conduct pre-trial arguments in the Ruatoki terror raids case, the author of a new book on prophet Rua Kenana says the police seem to have learned nothing in the past century about how to deal with Ngai Tuhoe.

The Prophet and the Policeman is being launched tonight at Unity Books in Wellington.

Mark Derby says he set out to write about former police commissioner John Cullen, and realised the culmination of Cullen's career was the 1916 arrest of Rua at Maungapohatu in Te Urewera.

He says Rua came to prominence during a time when there was considerable ill feeling among Tuhoe that promises of self-management made by the Seddon government had been broken.

“It's situations like that which really contributed to the growth and the strength of support for Rua in Te Urewera and even beyond and it was the level of that support that alarmed the government during world War I and prompted them to send in this extraordinarily heavy handed and heavily armed police expedition with tragic consequences,” Mr Derby says.

He says says The Prophet and the Policeman draws on research he and others did for Tuhoe's Waitangi Tribunal claims.


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