Council adopts Paekākā as the name for Wellington Botanic Garden precinct

13 August 2020

Wellington City Councillors have formally endorsed Paekākā as the te reo Māori name for the landscape area including the top of the Cable Car, Wellington Botanic Garden, Anderson Park and Bolton Street Cemetery.

Wellington botanic garden.

“The adoption of this name does not change the existing names of the open space or reserves. It was historically the name for the general area. Each of the places within Paekākā will retain their existing identities and addresses. For example the Wellington Botanic Garden will become Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā,” says Mayor Andy Foster.

“Paekākā, meaning ‘realm or perch of the kākā’, was gifted by Mana Whenua at an event last year following the adoption of the Council’s Te Tauihu – Te Reo Māori Policy, and recognises the much loved place the Botanic Garden precinct has in the history and future of Wellington,” adds the Mayor.

Councillor Jill Day, the Council’s Māori Partnerships Portfolio Leader, says Paekākā supports the goals of the Council’s Te Tauihu – Te Reo Māori Policy – to increase awareness and improve understanding of the context of te reo Māori within Wellington.

“It also acknowledges early Māori history when kākā were abundant and often trapped for food by local Māori. It is a name that was historically in use in the area, so its use will restore the original Māori name for the area.”

Councillor Day says that this is a unique naming application because it is not naming a specific open space, road or facility but it is consistent with the goals of Te Tauihu - Te Reo Māori Policy.

Council will apply to the New Zealand Board (Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aoteraroa) to register Paekākā as an official name for the Botanic Garden precinct. This supports the Board’s statutory functions to collect and encourage the wider use of original Māori place names.

The Council has engaged with organisations based in the area and they support the use of Paekākā.

Councillor Day says that it’s exciting to see the vision of Wellington becoming a te reo Māori capital city by 2040 come to life.