The Ōpōtiki District Council have voted to officially correct the spelling of their district, after the Land Information database holds the name Opotiki, without macrons.
Source: Wikimedia Commons: Ulrich Lange
Ōpōtiki Councillor Arihia Tuoro said it was important the name be corrected, as it "will provide a clear and consistent name and recognise the importance of Te Reo and tikanga, particularly in place names".
The macrons above vowels in Te Reo Māori change the way a word is pronounced and can also change the meaning of the word.
"We already use macrons in the name Ōpōtiki – it is our tikanga, our place name, so there is no question that there should be macrons for it to make sense," Ms Tuoro said.
The Council are currently rolling out a project to make sure they have correct naming on addresses and roads.
"It is also important to note that once it goes through the formal process, there won’t be a legal requirement for business and groups to change their name. They can use or not use macrons at their own discretion," she said.
"As Council already uses the correct spelling in most signage, we don't anticipate extra costs for ratepayers. But it would mean that other Government agencies such as New Zealand Transport Agency would replace or alter signs as part of their normal renewal or damage replacement programme."