Whānau endorse ancestral name in showdown with Geographic Board

In a hui at Kohupātiki Marae last night, whānau unanimously endorsed the name Moko Tūāraro as the revised option for their application to the New Zealand Geographic Board.

Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, Green List MP and spokesperson for Māori Development, has been working with Operation Pātiki Charitable Trust ki Kohupātiki Marae since February 2022. 

“We are proud to support the whānau to uphold the mana of their awa. We share their anger and disappointment at the way the Geographic Board has made them jump through hoops through this application process. Aki Paipper and Margie McGuire have led this work on behalf of the whānau for years now and although it is a compromise, we have high hopes that the application will succeed this time.”

“I thought the hui was magic,” says Aki Paipper, Trustee of Operation Pātiki and kuia of Kohupātiki Marae. “We went around the room to allow everyone present to express themselves. The anger and frustration was balanced with hopes of moving forward together. The hui ended with waiata and karakia and we all signed the letters of support.

“We have to move forward, or stay with ‘Clive’. And that is not an option. We don’t lose any of our oral history or our whakapapa. We will never stop singing our waiata. This is not the end, this is the beginning.”

Dr Kerekere concludes, “Whānau, hapū and iwi are in varying stages of reinstating the original names of their awa, whenua, maunga and moana. It is demeaning for them to follow all the rules and still be declined. We need to change the rules.”