Bilingual signs planned for Waipā open spaces
New bilingual signs are soon to be introduced at Waipā parks and reserves.
Waipā District Council has been partnering with mana whenua over the past two years to identify Te reo Māori names for parks and reserves across the district and made the announcement as part of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori language week activities.
Community services manager Brad Ward said the Te reo Māori names will be an addition to any existing English name. In some cases, it will be restoring traditional names to the land the parks and reserves are based on, and in others it may be creating new contemporary Te reo Māori names.
“This project will give all our parks and reserves an appropriate Te reo Māori name associated with the land’s history or purpose of the space. It recognises the importance of Te reo Māori and gives the opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural history in Waipā.”
“The best example of this dual naming is Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, while it is a change to get used too, it soon rolls off the tongue quite naturally.”
The implementation will occur as the existing signs come to the end of their life, need to be replaced due to damage, or the information needs updating.
“We want to reiterate to the public that where the parks and reserves have an English name, that will be retained alongside the new Te reo Māori name. Having the Te reo Māori names and stories in our parks and reserves will help people become more comfortable with the language, learn about the history of the area, and ensure the narratives of the past aren’t lost.”
Four parks already with existing Te reo Māori names have been confirmed with mana whenua. These are to be officially named, Mātakitaki, Whare Marama, Tūrata and Waipuke.
“This will be a long process and we have a way to go but it is great to get started,” Ward said.
By the end of the project all 260 parks and reserves in Waipā will have a Te reo Māori name and signage.