Mayor Andy Foster and City Councillors voted unanimously to approve the name change at today’s Strategy and Policy Committee meeting.
The new street name recognises Te Wharepouri, a chief of Te Āti Awa, who travelled to the Wellington region from Taranaki in 1832. He was a signatory of signing Te Tiriti in 1840. He died in 1842 and was buried at Petone.
Wellington Tenths Trust is delighted that Wellington City Council has resolved for Waripori Street to be correctly spelt acknowledging their tupuna, Te Wharepouri. The north-western end of the street is also located within the Wellington Tenths Trust development precinct M76 in the District Plan, as is the South Wellington Intermediate School, Village at the Park retirement village, and The Park Early Learning childcare centre. These lands are remnant of the Newtown reserves and are significant to the Trust and its members.
“We are pleased that the announcement made on Waitangi Day by Mayor Andy Foster to progress the name change has been carried forward by the Council. Councillor Jill Day has been a driver through the Te Tauihu Reo Policy and has worked with the Trust to facilitate this with Councillors and the Mayor.”
Councillor Day, who holds the City Council’s Maori Partnerships portfolio, says the name change is part of an ongoing effort to correct mis-spellings of te reo names around the city and the country.
“For all sorts of reasons, streets, towns and geographical features were wrongly named – mainly in the 19th century. I think it’s reasonable that we work to set the record straight.”
Cr Day says the name change fits with the Council’s Te Tauihu policy, introduced in 2018, that recognises the status of te reo Māori as a taonga and creates a framework to help guide the actions of the Council – to celebrate te reo Māori and support the revitalisation of the language within Council activities and Wellington City.
She recognises that consultation with residents in the street showed there is significant difference of opinion over the name change. “However I’m confident the new spelling will be quickly accepted by the general community.”
Cr Day says the name amendment will help reference the early history of Wellington, thereby enriching way-finding for visitors, without impacting the ability of postal and emergency services to locate addresses in the street.