8 Nov 2012

Maori names proposed for Mt Cook mountain range

7:13 pm on 8 November 2012

The South Island iwi Ngai Tahu has asked the Crown to rename several mountains in the Aoraki-Mt Cook range to include ancestral Maori titles.

The New Zealand Geographic Board opened public consultation on Thursday for three proposals.

They include changing:

  • "Mount Cook Range" to "Kirikirikatata-Mount Cook Range";
  • "Tasman Glacier" to "Haupapa-Tasman Glacier";
  • and assigning "Aroarokaehe Range" to an unnamed section of the Southern Alps.

Board chairman Don Grant says the proposed names relate to Maori creation stories and legends, and are highly significant ancestral names to Ngai Tahu.

Dr Grant says Ngai Tahu has proposed that the English names be retained.

Public consultation will remain open until mid-February before the names are officially decided at the next Geographic Board meeting next year.