In June 2021 the DTLB approved a list of parks and reserves in the area for dual Māori/English naming. This programme is called Te Kete Rukuruku and the Devonport Takapuna Local Board is one of 14 Local Boards who have signed up for the programme. Some people have questioned why gift a reserve an additional name and I think it’s important that we articulate the benefits of doing so.
Many of our parks and reserves are named in an arbitrary way, perhaps for the road they are next to, or they're simply the name of a former local. These names are of course fine and are the common moniker that people have grown accustomed to when referring to that place. What these names don’t do however, is educate us on their pre-colonial history, or tells us something about former Māori occupation or oral tradition; which is an element that will add a new layer of meaning to that much appreciated open space.
Te Kete Rukuruku is a programme delivered by the 19 mana whenua iwi of Tāmaki Makaurau of reinstating historic names to the land. Every one of us stands to benefit from this programme as it gives us a far richer understanding of our history and heritage . New Zealand is the only country in the world where these stories can be told, where these drops of history can be revealed, and so being able to share those stories through park naming is something we can all celebrate.
In addition we're normalising the use of te reo māori and celebrating our uniqueness as a country. It’s important to remember too that the existing name is not replaced or lost, rather we’re offering layers of meaning and layers of history to a few select parks and reserves through dual naming.
Only 9% of Auckland’s parks and places have a Māori name. There are 122 parks and reserves in the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board rohe and the Local Board has put forth a list of 19 parks for consideration and research by mana whenua. One of those parks will be a ‘hero park’ and will receive an early signage renewal with the new dual name.
Those parks are: Auburn Reserve, Balmain Reserve, Belmont Park, Castor Bay Beach Reserve, Hauraki Corner Park, Knightsbridge Reserve, Linwood Reserve, Milford Beachfront Reserve, Montgomery Reserve, Narrow Neck Beach, Nile Reserve, Northboro Reserve, Quarry Lake Reserve, Seine Reserve, Stanley Bay Beach Reserve, Sunnynook Park, Windsor Reserve and 413 Lake Road (cnr Lake & Esmonde Rd).
Elected member of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board for the 2019-2022 Election Term.