Council proposes changes to street naming policy

Councillor Steve Morris.

Tauranga City Council's Policy Committee agreed to explore a series of recommended changes to the 2009 Naming of Streets, Reserves and Community Facilities Policy.

Changes to the policy will be presented back to the committee for review prior to community consultation later this year.

A review of the current policy would confirm it applies to all spaces under council's jurisdiction and seeks to better reflect Tauranga’s history, identity, culture, environment and encourage more locally significant Maori names.

While the current policy includes a principle that Council is committed to recognising significance to Maori, a past review noted this does not necessarily result in locally relevant Māori names.

In the example of Kowhai Street – Kowhai can mean yellow or the native tree but this name may still not be significant to a particular place. Instead, a resolution made yesterday demonstrated the committee’s support for Maori names that have significance to Tauranga’s own iwi and hapu.

Policy Committee Chair Steve Morris says committee members felt it was important Tauranga’s Maori history and identity is made more visible.

“When you walk around the older, more established parts of the city there are very few places where you would see te reo used on signage.

“By incorporating place names, perhaps through dual naming, that have significance to mana whenua or local iwi we are honouring and respecting our history, the history of our land as well as the strong affiliation of mana whenua to this place.”

Steve emphasised that if we introduced dual naming it would mean some reserves and streets may have two names. One English name and one Māori name that has local significance.

“I acknowledge that some in our community may feel upset by suggesting a new approach; however, I would encourage them that we have nothing to fear, but much to gain by continuing our journey to becoming a more inclusive community that understands and respects our shared heritage in this land.”

“It’s vitally important that we take our whole community with us on this journey and that while leadership requires courage, we also must ensure that residents don’t feel that any changes are being forced upon them,” says .

The gifting of specially considered Maori names also reflects the Maori Community would like to share their long and rich history of the area.

The following amendments are proposed to the Naming of Streets, Reserves and Community Facilities Policy. The draft policy will be reported back to the Committee for approval to proceed to consultation:

(a) Confirm the scope as including all streets, reserves, public places, council community facilities, and infrastructure.

(b) Add a principle noting the role of the policy in encouraging names that are significant to mana whenua from the Tauranga City Council area.

(c) Prioritise local identity, history of the area and significance to mana whenua from the Tauranga City Council area when deciding new names for streets and reserves.

(d) Add a character limit as a criteria for street names together with existing criteria of “easy to pronounce” and “easy to spell”.

(e) Ensure that new streets and reserves cannot be named after commercial enterprises.

(f) Ensure that the naming criteria applies to active reserves, public places, and council community facilities.

(g) Provide options that allow for the re-naming of reserves and public places.

(h) Not allow private requests to re-name streets.

(i) Allow for the dual naming of new and existing streets, reserves, facilities and public places.

(j) Confirm that decisions on the naming of all reserves, public places, council community facilities and streets be a function of Council.

(k) Confirm that there be no consultation or formal decision-making where a te reo Māori name is gifted to Tauranga by mana whenua.

The practice of dual naming is common in other parts of New Zealand. A copy of the full report can be found on council’s website.

The Policy Committee will be asked to adopt a draft policy for consultation at its July 2019 meeting.

The policy amendments incorporated feedback from the Mana Whenua o Tauranga Moana Partnership Group that would also be invited to comment on the specific policy wording.

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Posted on 24-06-2019 12:47 | By morepork

Loved your post... LOL Sadly, a bit too close to the truth...

Reflecting reality

Posted on 22-06-2019 20:46 | By penguin

The following may help the council in naming significant places . Pothole Place; Subsidence Crescent; Tarbleed Drive; Crackseal Street; Nomarking Road; Blockeddrain Blvd; Roundaboutwhy Drive. And there are many others !

It's gratifying...

Posted on 21-06-2019 18:28 | By morepork

… to see some Maori people also recognizing how stupid this is. We do need recognition of Maoritanga and NZ has always had Maori names for various localities. But it isn’t Racist to be against waste and stupidity. I understand and share Mommatum’s frustration with our votes seeming to be wasted (Council do whatever they want because they are not answerable to anyone.. except at election time), but we need to vote and encourage others to do so too. Democracy CAN work and Tauranga deserves better than what we have at the moment. I suspect this was an attempt by a Councillor to ride the PC wave generated by Academics who have their snouts in the trough and don’t really care about the welfare of Maori or anybody else. It is a serious miscalculation and needs to be dropped. If they don’t understand priorities, they shouldn’t be in Council.

Is it April 1st

Posted on 21-06-2019 12:54 | By Laurie

Are Steve Morris & his cohorts trying to wind us ’Ratepayers’ up - this unnecessary waste of money is just a joke. If he & his supporters want to do this let them pay for it - the cost of this will run into 100’s of thousands of $$ & there is no mandate from ratepayers to spend it - there are many things around Tauranga of much higher priority that need fixing or improving!!

It's Council Election YEAR !

Posted on 21-06-2019 11:35 | By The Caveman

Remember this C _ _ P when you vote !!

Oh come on

Posted on 20-06-2019 20:57 | By

Most street names are in recognition of the history of the town, city. And usually are part of the history of their creation. Would hate to see major and minor roads such as Cameron Road, Fraser Street, Courtney Road, Hairini Street, Pyes Pa Road, Harrier Street, Goddard Street etc which reflect Tauranga history milestones being changed to reflect Maori cultural significance. These are part of our Tauranga Moana historical heritage . Not to mention the cost to postal address changes...

Don't Change but..

Posted on 20-06-2019 19:09 | By Jem762

Definitely prioritise Maori names for any new streets/suburbs etc. Golden Sands, Palm Beach, Santa Monica Boulevard! What an embarrassment. That should never happen again and iwi must be consulted for the naming of new streets.

What are they thinking of?

Posted on 20-06-2019 17:28 | By maureen

I have had enough of these councillors wasting ratepayers’ money on things they think are important to this city. I definitely don’t think we need to change something to suit 15% of ratepayers. Vote them all out!!

A Waste Of Our Votes

Posted on 20-06-2019 17:12 | By Mommatum

I happen to be Maori and as far as I’m concerned this is yet more proof that our votes in the last Council election were an utter and complete waste. There are actually serious issues our elected representatives need to be focussing on, like the social disorder problem around the bus interchange, roading and getting the CBD back to not looking like a war zone and implementing their plan to take over and improve our bus service. These are the things we elect them to do, not use our money to advance personal “hobbyhorses” on our time and it is our time. Because we vote them in and so effectively they work for us.

What an absolute joke!

Posted on 20-06-2019 15:00 | By GreertonBoy

Spending crazy money on changing street names is merely pandering... stop it. I thought that NZ was a multi cultural country? Our street names are our history as well... leave it alone. Spend the money on hospitals, roads, bridges and stuff instead, where it is needed. Sheesh! It is like Macrons again already! Give me a break

Changes of street names

Posted on 20-06-2019 14:31 | By walmer

Have they nothing better to do this is rediculous


Posted on 20-06-2019 14:31 | By P Double

Surely there are more important things to do!!!

Yes I'll go along

Posted on 20-06-2019 13:44 | By earlybird

with that idea providing the councillors fund the cost out of their own pockets and not mine. Fair enough?

Once more

Posted on 20-06-2019 13:42 | By tish

the wannabes are messing with things they should leave alone and ignoring dealing with the real issues in the City. Just a last hurrah and "one finger salute" to the ratepayers as they get kicked out the door on their way back to being nobodies. Absolute wastes of space and good oxygen the lot on them.

It ain't broke so why fix it?

Posted on 20-06-2019 13:00 | By spencerb

Ratepayers are sure getting fed up with this council who insist on bowing and scraping to minority groups. We have enough long and impossible to remember Maori names in our city. The classic example is the new name for what was the Phoenix car park. It is almost impossible to randomly find anyone who can remember it. There are also quite a few examples in the lakes where some street names are ridiculous and hardly serve as a simple reference to a location which is, after all, what addresses are intended to provide.

Street name changes?

Posted on 20-06-2019 12:16 | By Val.M

This is totally unbelievable what Council are proposing! The money needs to be spent on more safely issues that are needed around our city to help save lives! Are too many accidents happening! Come on Council! Stop wasting our money! Start listening to those who are paying for your grandiose schemes!


Posted on 20-06-2019 12:15 | By Feruno

We need a change of Council. Are they aware, or do they even care about Ratepayers ?? In appeasing 15% of the population, 85%, or many of us, are battling to scrape the exorbitant rates together to pay for councillors to live in luxury, spending money left, right, and centre as if it was a bottomless pit and thumbing their arrogant noses at ’commoners’. If they want new names, let those who want them, PAY, because their Trusts pay little or nothing as it is, and the councillors can pay too. Enough of this MADNESS

Cave in

Posted on 20-06-2019 12:14 | By Told you

This council has been hi-jacked by a pushy few, don’t fall for their agenda.

Don’t be ridiculous

Posted on 20-06-2019 11:27 | By

More wasted time and money on a totally pointless exercise changing or dual naming perfectly good names to Maori names that MIGHT mean something to around 10% of the population. All this current Council must be voted out so we can get some common sense back in power to concentrate on important issues and fixing the current lots mistakes.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 20-06-2019 11:04 | By

What world are these guys in!!! Increase our rates and waste more money like this and replacing stupid parking signs that get hit by cars over and over again. Steve Morris. I’ll remember your name. I am maori! I am a ratepayer. Stop wasting my money! It isn’t yours to waste! Frustrating!!! Fix the bloody roads! 2 lanes-1 lane-2 lanes-1 lane. Fix that!!!

Is this a priority ????

Posted on 20-06-2019 11:01 | By FRANKS

I dont think so ........and how does this relate to the pointless name foisted on Phoenix Carpark at the Mount ??????? What about the many much more important issues to be sorted ?

Lakes commercial area names

Posted on 20-06-2019 11:01 | By

Take a drive up there and try and remember and pronounce the street names there, I feel sorry for the business owners trying to direct customers to them. For a laugh also try Google maps, they cannot say them either

Dual naming?

Posted on 20-06-2019 10:49 | By morepork

Sure, and while we’re at it let’s go for separate development... Oops, that’s Apartheid... We SHOULD have streets that are meaningful and mark significant events in the history of the town and some of those names should certainly be Maori. But using two names for the same street is just stupid. Major cities, OK, town streets, not OK. And I agree with other posters that there are MANY higher priority calls on Ratepayers’ money.

Surely not!

Posted on 20-06-2019 09:13 | By Maryfaith

And how much are these dual name signs going to cost us ratepayers? Surely our new CEO who promised to look council costs will not go along with this ridiculous idea which yet again panders to one minority ethnic group! He needs to do more than just ’look’ - DO it!!


Posted on 20-06-2019 09:12 | By tabatha

Once again unnecessary spending, yes review when we closer to the black rather way into the red.


Posted on 20-06-2019 09:00 | By dumbkof2

so once again this council is going to waste thousands of dollars on something that is not needed. there are enough trio names here now

fD*** H****

Posted on 20-06-2019 08:49 | By Chookymac

Is that all these guys have got to do?What a pack of D*** H****.This really gives us a good idea of what we have in Council and that we need to get rid of some of these D*** H**** at the coming Election.Changing street names I ask you?when we have all these Traffic faults in the City

The implications

Posted on 20-06-2019 08:41 | By nerak

around this nonsense are massive, far reaching. Quite apart from the appalling time factor TCC staff have already, obviously, spent on this, anyone who has changed address knows how much time is involved in notifying such a change. And for a business that means much, much more work and cost. Let alone more cost to ratepayers for TCC to do their part. Why do TCC have to be sheep and follow other councils on this? TCC, leave street/place names alone and utilise ratepayer’s dollars on something that really needs changing/bettering!

all i can do

Posted on 20-06-2019 08:32 | By Mein Fuhrer

is roll my eyes and sigh a big sigh as I ask why why why?