Council votes for dual name

13-1; MacLean the dissenting voice.

13-1; MacLean the dissenting voice.

File picture by Liam Clayton

GISBORNE district councillors and Mayor Meng Foon have voted 13 to 1 to submit to the New Zealand Geographic Board that the name for Gisborne's coastal bay feature be changed to Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay.

Malcolm MacLean dissented from the proposal to have the area’s original Maori name preceding Poverty Bay in a new dual name.

Mr MacLean said he was proud of the name Poverty Bay.

All Black great Ian Kirkpatrick had told him he was proud to have represented Poverty Bay and “I’m proud to say I represented Poverty Bay”.

He did a lot of research but could not find out when Kiwa landed here.

Poverty Bay had been the bay and region’s name for nearly 250 years.

Mr MacLean said the dual name would only be stage one. It would lead to an attempt to change Gisborne’s name.

He could “go with” the dual name but would go against protocol and make it Poverty Bay/Turanganui a Kiwa.

“A lot of my electorate (Taruheru-Patutahi) has asked me to stand strong and have no change.”

'Poverty' associated with deprivation

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said destitute, impoverished, deprivation, need and want were the meanings of poverty.

Poverty had not afforded the district a good name.

“I’m proud when I hear the name Turanganui a Kiwa,” she said. “I, too, have constituents who ask me ‘why is this name still here’?”

Graeme Thomson said the name Poverty Bay was a matter of national significance.

He could live with a dual name, but a referendum at the next General Election — which he described as consulting with the community at large — would make him feel comfortable.

Andy Cranston said the name of Poverty Bay had been “a lost opportunity’’.

It is now a 'welcoming region'

The best stories were about rising from adversity. That was the story of Poverty Bay. The region had a story where people had risen in a place now considered spectacular.

It was now a welcoming region (compared to why Cook decided to name the area Poverty Bay).

“Having said that, there were also stories about Turanganui a Kiwa.”

He did not buy into negative connotations about the district because of the name Poverty Bay.

Josh Wharehinga said 77 percent of respondents in consultation wanted a name change.

Mr Wharehinga told The Herald that about 850 people replied “yes” to changing the name but another 520 people voted ‘no” to the proposed dual name because they wanted Turanganui a Kiwa only. That equated to 77 percent.

Many have wanted name change for a 'long time'

He told his fellow councillors “a huge number of us have been wanting a change of name for a very long time”.

Rehette Stoltz said there was no need to rush to the New Zealand Geographic Board.

Consultation results (as explained by Mr Warehinga) had given an unexpected result, she said. The community could be asked again, for further clarity, in the upcoming consultation process for the 10-year plan.

“Ask a proper question and do this properly.”

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said further consultation would likely lead to a similar outcome.

She would not recommend rushing another round of consultation around the bay’s name as part of the 10-year plan consultation process.

Shannon Dowsing said the council should acknowledge the desire to return to the area’s original name. He would not support further consultation.

It was not the council’s job to make a name determination, but to submit a proposal to the NZGB, which would consult and investigate.

Mr Dowsing supported the dual name. He paraphrased Cook when he explained why he had named the area Poverty Bay. “Unlike James Cook, this area offers me everything I desire.”

The story of Kiwa

Amber Dunn recounted the story of Kiwa, who was tasked with finding a suitable meeting place or place of unity, which he was to name Turanganui a Kiwa (the long waiting place of Kiwa). The area was to be a meeting place again in 1769 when Cook arrived.

The time was right to adopt the dual name, which she described as “an act of unity”.

Larry Foster said history could not be changed. Turanganui a Kiwa was the original name.

There were other places with dual names such as Mt Taranaki/Mt Egmont, now generally called Mt Taranaki, he said. People would call the bay what ever they wanted.

Brian Wilson said the district had many names such as Tairawhiti, Gisborne-East Coast, Poverty Bay and Turanganui a Kiwa.

'Arrogance to ignore original name'

It was pure arrogance to ignore the original name because an explorer came along. Many people wanted the original name restored. Poverty Bay was also a historical name used by many organisations.

A dual name was the best result.

Karen Fenn said she supported the dual name. “I acknowledge our past, our present and our future.’’

The issue was about the whole community — Turanganui a Kiwa and Poverty Bay. The district had to go into the future in a collaborative manner, she said. That involved the dual name.

Mr Foon said council was doing the right and honourable thing in acknowledging the history of the district, “more particularly the ocean, Turanganui a Kiwa, subsequently Poverty Bay’’.

GISBORNE district councillors and Mayor Meng Foon have voted 13 to 1 to submit to the New Zealand Geographic Board that the name for Gisborne's coastal bay feature be changed to Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay.

Malcolm MacLean dissented from the proposal to have the area’s original Maori name preceding Poverty Bay in a new dual name.

Mr MacLean said he was proud of the name Poverty Bay.

All Black great Ian Kirkpatrick had told him he was proud to have represented Poverty Bay and “I’m proud to say I represented Poverty Bay”.

He did a lot of research but could not find out when Kiwa landed here.

Poverty Bay had been the bay and region’s name for nearly 250 years.

Mr MacLean said the dual name would only be stage one. It would lead to an attempt to change Gisborne’s name.

He could “go with” the dual name but would go against protocol and make it Poverty Bay/Turanganui a Kiwa.

“A lot of my electorate (Taruheru-Patutahi) has asked me to stand strong and have no change.”

'Poverty' associated with deprivation

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said destitute, impoverished, deprivation, need and want were the meanings of poverty.

Poverty had not afforded the district a good name.

“I’m proud when I hear the name Turanganui a Kiwa,” she said. “I, too, have constituents who ask me ‘why is this name still here’?”

Graeme Thomson said the name Poverty Bay was a matter of national significance.

He could live with a dual name, but a referendum at the next General Election — which he described as consulting with the community at large — would make him feel comfortable.

Andy Cranston said the name of Poverty Bay had been “a lost opportunity’’.

It is now a 'welcoming region'

The best stories were about rising from adversity. That was the story of Poverty Bay. The region had a story where people had risen in a place now considered spectacular.

It was now a welcoming region (compared to why Cook decided to name the area Poverty Bay).

“Having said that, there were also stories about Turanganui a Kiwa.”

He did not buy into negative connotations about the district because of the name Poverty Bay.

Josh Wharehinga said 77 percent of respondents in consultation wanted a name change.

Mr Wharehinga told The Herald that about 850 people replied “yes” to changing the name but another 520 people voted ‘no” to the proposed dual name because they wanted Turanganui a Kiwa only. That equated to 77 percent.

Many have wanted name change for a 'long time'

He told his fellow councillors “a huge number of us have been wanting a change of name for a very long time”.

Rehette Stoltz said there was no need to rush to the New Zealand Geographic Board.

Consultation results (as explained by Mr Warehinga) had given an unexpected result, she said. The community could be asked again, for further clarity, in the upcoming consultation process for the 10-year plan.

“Ask a proper question and do this properly.”

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said further consultation would likely lead to a similar outcome.

She would not recommend rushing another round of consultation around the bay’s name as part of the 10-year plan consultation process.

Shannon Dowsing said the council should acknowledge the desire to return to the area’s original name. He would not support further consultation.

It was not the council’s job to make a name determination, but to submit a proposal to the NZGB, which would consult and investigate.

Mr Dowsing supported the dual name. He paraphrased Cook when he explained why he had named the area Poverty Bay. “Unlike James Cook, this area offers me everything I desire.”

The story of Kiwa

Amber Dunn recounted the story of Kiwa, who was tasked with finding a suitable meeting place or place of unity, which he was to name Turanganui a Kiwa (the long waiting place of Kiwa). The area was to be a meeting place again in 1769 when Cook arrived.

The time was right to adopt the dual name, which she described as “an act of unity”.

Larry Foster said history could not be changed. Turanganui a Kiwa was the original name.

There were other places with dual names such as Mt Taranaki/Mt Egmont, now generally called Mt Taranaki, he said. People would call the bay what ever they wanted.

Brian Wilson said the district had many names such as Tairawhiti, Gisborne-East Coast, Poverty Bay and Turanganui a Kiwa.

'Arrogance to ignore original name'

It was pure arrogance to ignore the original name because an explorer came along. Many people wanted the original name restored. Poverty Bay was also a historical name used by many organisations.

A dual name was the best result.

Karen Fenn said she supported the dual name. “I acknowledge our past, our present and our future.’’

The issue was about the whole community — Turanganui a Kiwa and Poverty Bay. The district had to go into the future in a collaborative manner, she said. That involved the dual name.

Mr Foon said council was doing the right and honourable thing in acknowledging the history of the district, “more particularly the ocean, Turanganui a Kiwa, subsequently Poverty Bay’’.

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Gray Clapham - 1 year ago
I have been promoting the Gisborne region through my books, calendars and tourism publications for some 30 years now. Wherever possible I have elected not to use the name Poverty Bay as a locational description. I instead have fudged over it by using terms like Gisborne's bay, Gisborne's plains, etc. As a promoter, the word "poverty" is just so counter-productive to me. It is a constant reminder of a terrible moment in history when an arrogant European explorer got in a bad mood after his crew killed several local indigenous inhabitants. To use the dual name Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay is a total cop out and I will never do so. The whole idea I thought, with apologies to Ian Kirkpatrick, was to kick the word poverty into touch. Apart from the tagged-on, totally negative connotation, not to mention the forward slash, it is also far too long to use effectively in promotional printed materials. Change is always hard to accept in anticipation, but so easy to relish in hindsight. Rhodesia/Zimbabwe; Burma/Myanmar; Ceylon/Sri Lanka? It can be done.

Peter Millar - 1 year ago
Given the results of the "Public Consultation" previously published:
"According to consultation, out of 1856 respondents, 49.46 percent opposed a dual name, 47.52 supported it and 3.02 percent were not sure."
I would have thought by the law of averages, councillor votes should have been closer to these percentages rather than 13 to 1??
Obviously the public opinion meant zilch.

Brian, Palmerston North - 1 year ago
I was born and bred in Poverty Bay. Why do we need another name? Too much PC.

Joe of Gisborne - 1 year ago
Another clear failing of our councillors with their limited group-think (except for Mr MacLean, the sole voice of reason) - particularly when the majority vote during consultation was for NO change.
Gisborne is the place we live, or "Gizzy" as referred to by a number of visitors to our shores. So why continue to confuse people who are thinking of coming to our region with bizarre names? Outside of Gisborne, no one knows of Tairawhiti or Turanganui a Kiwa.

Jim Gizzy Hard - 1 year ago
You call that public consultation? The question style was ambiguous at best, and only 1800 people responded. How can you make such a huge change with such a poor community turnout? Clearly the way GDC has gone about this has been completely disengaging - yet again! Councillors, please start doing your jobs properly. Some of you are new in your roles and already seem to be falling asleep behind the wheel - far too early to forget about the people who elected you in . . . easily elected back out though.

A Maori - 1 year ago
Well it would appear that the rednecks are alive and well in my home!
Most of you people making comments need to understand that we are not changing the name, we are reinstating the ORIGINAL name!!! We are not even removing the name Poverty Bay, we are just acknowledging the name this place has held for nearly 800 years! Te Tairawhiti did not begin with James Cook! The sooner you accept that, the better!!!!

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