High number want Poverty Bay to stay

Last week's question: What are your thoughts on changing the name of Poverty Bay to the dual name Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay?

Last week's question: What are your thoughts on changing the name of Poverty Bay to the dual name Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay?

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A WEBPOLL topic that gets a lot of Gisborne people voting is proposed name changes. This week’s Gisborne Herald online poll asked, what are your thoughts on changing the name of Poverty Bay to the dual name Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay?

It received 629 votes with 62 percent (391 votes) from people who said leave it as Poverty Bay. Some commented they felt changing the name was trying to “rewrite history”.

“There is 250 years of history in the name Poverty Bay that should not be ignored,” said one.

This compared to 10 percent who liked a dual name — 6 percent (38 votes) liked Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay, with 4 percent (28 votes) preferring it the other way around, Poverty Bay/Turanganui a Kiwa.

In second place was having the bay renamed Turanganui a Kiwa and dropping Poverty Bay, with 150 people (24 percent) in agreement.

Get rid of Poverty Bay completely because “a negative name is a negative affirmation that we don’t need in our region,” said one.

“Poverty Bay has to go; it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Who would ever say that they come from Poverty Bay? Not me, for sure. But, what are we changing? The name of the body of water next to Gisborne city, or the name of our district?

“If it is our district then surely Tairawhiti is the better choice. If it is the body of water then it should be up to iwi to confirm the traditional name. Keep to a dual name if that is what it takes to eventually banish ‘Poverty Bay’ to the history books.”

Not reflected in other polls

But even though the majority of votes stuck up for the status quo of Poverty Bay to remain, this did not reflect the results from two other unscientific polls run by The Gisborne Herald.

Last week’s on-the-street poll of 10 people had a 70 percent majority who thought a dual name of Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay was a good idea.

A Gisborne Herald Facebook post, which asked the same question, had 333 positive “likes” or “hearts”, compared to only 12 negative “angry faces”.

Most of the comments also supported the name change, although there were many who thought “Gisborne should just stay as Gisborne”, followed by a number of people who were also concerned about the amount of ratepayer money needed to change the name.

The topic was reintroduced last month at a council meeting, where councillor Meredith Akuhata-Brown asked that her opposition to the “cursed name” of Poverty Bay be recorded to a resolution carried by the council to consult on changing the name of Poverty Bay to a dual name.

Councillors decided they would consult with iwi and the public first before potentially making an application to the NZ Geographic Board for a formal name change.

Lots of voters for previous name change question

Interestingly, a webpoll question in October last year about name options for the region attracted a similarly-high number of votes. In that poll, the majority voted for the Gisborne District with 63 percent of the votes, Tairawhiti came second with 24 percent, followed by East Coast and Eastland each with 5 percent, and 2 percent who voted “don’t know”. That poll received 679 votes, with heavy voting in the final three days of the poll — which tends to indicate campaigning — that saw the percentages shift towards greater support for Gisborne and away from Tairawhiti.

A WEBPOLL topic that gets a lot of Gisborne people voting is proposed name changes. This week’s Gisborne Herald online poll asked, what are your thoughts on changing the name of Poverty Bay to the dual name Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay?

It received 629 votes with 62 percent (391 votes) from people who said leave it as Poverty Bay. Some commented they felt changing the name was trying to “rewrite history”.

“There is 250 years of history in the name Poverty Bay that should not be ignored,” said one.

This compared to 10 percent who liked a dual name — 6 percent (38 votes) liked Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay, with 4 percent (28 votes) preferring it the other way around, Poverty Bay/Turanganui a Kiwa.

In second place was having the bay renamed Turanganui a Kiwa and dropping Poverty Bay, with 150 people (24 percent) in agreement.

Get rid of Poverty Bay completely because “a negative name is a negative affirmation that we don’t need in our region,” said one.

“Poverty Bay has to go; it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Who would ever say that they come from Poverty Bay? Not me, for sure. But, what are we changing? The name of the body of water next to Gisborne city, or the name of our district?

“If it is our district then surely Tairawhiti is the better choice. If it is the body of water then it should be up to iwi to confirm the traditional name. Keep to a dual name if that is what it takes to eventually banish ‘Poverty Bay’ to the history books.”

Not reflected in other polls

But even though the majority of votes stuck up for the status quo of Poverty Bay to remain, this did not reflect the results from two other unscientific polls run by The Gisborne Herald.

Last week’s on-the-street poll of 10 people had a 70 percent majority who thought a dual name of Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay was a good idea.

A Gisborne Herald Facebook post, which asked the same question, had 333 positive “likes” or “hearts”, compared to only 12 negative “angry faces”.

Most of the comments also supported the name change, although there were many who thought “Gisborne should just stay as Gisborne”, followed by a number of people who were also concerned about the amount of ratepayer money needed to change the name.

The topic was reintroduced last month at a council meeting, where councillor Meredith Akuhata-Brown asked that her opposition to the “cursed name” of Poverty Bay be recorded to a resolution carried by the council to consult on changing the name of Poverty Bay to a dual name.

Councillors decided they would consult with iwi and the public first before potentially making an application to the NZ Geographic Board for a formal name change.

Lots of voters for previous name change question

Interestingly, a webpoll question in October last year about name options for the region attracted a similarly-high number of votes. In that poll, the majority voted for the Gisborne District with 63 percent of the votes, Tairawhiti came second with 24 percent, followed by East Coast and Eastland each with 5 percent, and 2 percent who voted “don’t know”. That poll received 679 votes, with heavy voting in the final three days of the poll — which tends to indicate campaigning — that saw the percentages shift towards greater support for Gisborne and away from Tairawhiti.

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Mark Stevens - 2 years ago
Why even mention a 'poll' of 10 people? How completely irrelevant! Was it a dinner party? Then you call those against a name change 'angry faces'! WTF? I'd say you've proven how irrelevant and puerile your opinion is.

Footnote: The street poll of 10 is mentioned because it was random - the first 10 people asked who were prepared to answer - and gave an opposite result to the webpoll. The "angry face" reference relates to emoticon reactions on Facebook. Ed

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