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Over 800 Māori place names made official


The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa has today announced that 824 Māori place names have been made official.

Lake Taupo. Source: LUKE APPLEBY

The names of 307 places now include macrons, with examples including the likes of Taupō, Whakatāne, Whangārei, Lake Wānaka, Ōhakune, Ōpōtiki and Tūrangi.

"Applying macrons correctly in written Māori provides the meaning of a name and assists with pronunciation," Anselm Haanen, acting chairperson of the board, said in a release. "This is important for all New Zealanders.

"Many Māori place names have important stories behind them, so ensuring the correct spelling will help keep those stories alive."

For example, as part of these changes New Zealand's longest place name, Taumatawhakatangihangakōauauotamateapōkaiwhenuakitānatahu, has had macrons added.

The name tells the story of the hill where Tamatea played his flute to his loved one.

A full list of the 824 official names can be found here.