The Gisborne region is famed for its abundant natural resources, but for almost 250 years, it's been called 'Poverty Bay'.

Now the local council want to correct the misnomer.

Tūranganui ā-Kiwa is a name widely known but Poverty Bay is the official name of the area.

Captain Cook’s boat landed there in 1769 but when he did not get the things he needed he called the place Poverty Bay.

However local Māori, including Charlie Pera of Te Aitanga a Mahaki says the English name couldn't be more misleading.

“Tēnei tangata kotahi noa tana putanga mai ki konei, kotahi noa iho tana kōrero, ā, mana tonu ana tana ingoa mō tēnei whenua.”

Pera says the name Tūranganui ā-Kiwa originated when his tīpuna first arrived here.

“Tēnei rā te Tūranganui ā-Kiwa. Koinei rā te wāhi i tū ai a Kiwa i te tatari i te hoki mai a Paoa. Nō reira koirā te pūtake o te kōrero.

The council has put the name change out for public consultation, but the mayor, Meng Foon, says everyone has been in favour of the idea.

“Ka tuhi retareta ki au he tohetohe rātou, he taupatupatu rātou ki au otirā mārō haere tātou ki te whakapai i te ingoa o Te Moana Nui ā-Kiwa.”

Public submissions close next week, the issue will then be debated by the council before a formal proposal is sent to the NZ Geographic Board.

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