Log In

Reset Password

Council votes for dual name

GISBORNE district councillors and Mayor Meng Foon have voted 13 to 1 to submit to the New Zealand Geographic Board that the name for Gisborne's coastal bay feature be changed to Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay.

Malcolm MacLean dissented from the proposal to have the area’s original Maori name preceding Poverty Bay in a new dual name.

Mr MacLean said he was proud of the name Poverty Bay.

All Black great Ian Kirkpatrick had told him he was proud to have represented Poverty Bay and “I’m proud to say I represented Poverty Bay”.

He did a lot of research but could not find out when Kiwa landed here.

Poverty Bay had been the bay and region’s name for nearly 250 years.

Mr MacLean said the dual name would only be stage one. It would lead to an attempt to change Gisborne’s name.

He could “go with” the dual name but would go against protocol and make it Poverty Bay/Turanganui a Kiwa.

“A lot of my electorate (Taruheru-Patutahi) has asked me to stand strong and have no change.”

'Poverty' associated with deprivationMeredith Akuhata-Brown said destitute, impoverished, deprivation, need and want were the meanings of poverty.

Poverty had not afforded the district a good name.

“I’m proud when I hear the name Turanganui a Kiwa,” she said. “I, too, have constituents who ask me ‘why is this name still here’?”

Graeme Thomson said the name Poverty Bay was a matter of national significance.

He could live with a dual name, but a referendum at the next General Election — which he described as consulting with the community at large — would make him feel comfortable.

Andy Cranston said the name of Poverty Bay had been “a lost opportunity’’.

It is now a 'welcoming region'The best stories were about rising from adversity. That was the story of Poverty Bay. The region had a story where people had risen in a place now considered spectacular.

It was now a welcoming region (compared to why Cook decided to name the area Poverty Bay).

“Having said that, there were also stories about Turanganui a Kiwa.”

He did not buy into negative connotations about the district because of the name Poverty Bay.

Josh Wharehinga said 77 percent of respondents in consultation wanted a name change.

Mr Wharehinga told The Herald that about 850 people replied “yes” to changing the name but another 520 people voted ‘no” to the proposed dual name because they wanted Turanganui a Kiwa only. That equated to 77 percent.

Many have wanted name change for a 'long time'He told his fellow councillors “a huge number of us have been wanting a change of name for a very long time”.

Rehette Stoltz said there was no need to rush to the New Zealand Geographic Board.

Consultation results (as explained by Mr Warehinga) had given an unexpected result, she said. The community could be asked again, for further clarity, in the upcoming consultation process for the 10-year plan.

“Ask a proper question and do this properly.”

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said further consultation would likely lead to a similar outcome.

She would not recommend rushing another round of consultation around the bay’s name as part of the 10-year plan consultation process.

Shannon Dowsing said the council should acknowledge the desire to return to the area’s original name. He would not support further consultation.

It was not the council’s job to make a name determination, but to submit a proposal to the NZGB, which would consult and investigate.

Mr Dowsing supported the dual name. He paraphrased Cook when he explained why he had named the area Poverty Bay. “Unlike James Cook, this area offers me everything I desire.”

The story of KiwaAmber Dunn recounted the story of Kiwa, who was tasked with finding a suitable meeting place or place of unity, which he was to name Turanganui a Kiwa (the long waiting place of Kiwa). The area was to be a meeting place again in 1769 when Cook arrived.

The time was right to adopt the dual name, which she described as “an act of unity”.

Larry Foster said history could not be changed. Turanganui a Kiwa was the original name.

There were other places with dual names such as Mt Taranaki/Mt Egmont, now generally called Mt Taranaki, he said. People would call the bay what ever they wanted.

Brian Wilson said the district had many names such as Tairawhiti, Gisborne-East Coast, Poverty Bay and Turanganui a Kiwa.

'Arrogance to ignore original name'It was pure arrogance to ignore the original name because an explorer came along. Many people wanted the original name restored. Poverty Bay was also a historical name used by many organisations.

A dual name was the best result.

Karen Fenn said she supported the dual name. “I acknowledge our past, our present and our future.’’

The issue was about the whole community — Turanganui a Kiwa and Poverty Bay. The district had to go into the future in a collaborative manner, she said. That involved the dual name.

Mr Foon said council was doing the right and honourable thing in acknowledging the history of the district, “more particularly the ocean, Turanganui a Kiwa, subsequently Poverty Bay’’.

File picture by Liam Clayton