Bay of Plenty place names corrected

  • Louise Upston
Land Information

Land Information Minister Louise Upston has today announced her decision to correct the spelling of 12 place and feature names in the Opotiki District.

The names include such places as the Waiotahi River, Waiotahi Forest and Waiotahi Knoll, which will be corrected to the original Māori name ‘Waiotahe.’

“It is well known around Opotiki that the name Waiotahi is incorrect but despite this, the misspelling has prevailed for some time through common usage,” Ms Upston says.

“Correcting the spelling to the original name of Waiotahe for these places and features has significant meaning to mana whenua Te Upokorehe, and is supported by the neighbouring Tūhoe and Whakatōhea iwi, as well as local councils.”

This decision upholds the decision of the New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB), which followed three months of public consultation in late 2014.

The NZGB submitted its decision, along with the two public submissions received – one objecting and one supporting – and other relevant information, to the Minister on 30 July 2015.

“Based on this information, and taking into account the NZGB’s function to correct spelling and collect and encourage the use of original Māori place names, I have confirmed the NZGB’s decision to correct the 12 names.

“New Zealand has a rich and diverse cultural history and I am pleased we are able to help safeguard the place naming traditions and heritage that have been brought here by our various communities.”

The full list of Waiotahe place names are available at: