Mayor Andy Foster says the name was put forward by Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi, kaitiaki of the whare on Ladbrooke Drive, during consultation for Newlands Park redevelopment. The proposal has the full support of mana whenua, Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika.
“Pukehuia translates as ‘hill of the huia bird’. ‘Huia’ are now sadly extinct native birds that were once prolific in the area,” he says.
Councillor Jill Day, the Council’s Māori Partnerships Portfolio Leader, adds that the te reo name, Pukehuia, was previously used to describe the area now known as Newlands.
“Adopting this name for the park is an important way to acknowledge the early history of the area. It also supports the goals of the Council’s Te Reo Māori Policy, Te Tauihu, which was introduced in 2018.
“Te Tauihu 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 vision of Wellington becoming a te reo Māori capital city by 2040.”
Pukehuia Park is currently undergoing a $3.6 million redevelopment, with work due to be completed in June. The huia bird will be incorporated in some design aspects of the park and in the on-site signage.