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NZGB’s Annual Report shows good progress on making place names official - LINZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa New Zealand Geographic Board made more than 500 place names official in the year from July 2019 - June 2020.

This work, in consultation with councils and mana whenua, is the beginning of the Board’s six-year programme to make more than 30,000 existing place names official.

Board Chairperson Anselm Haanen says the Board’s latest Annual Report reflects a growing awareness of the importance of place names as markers of national identity and community pride.

"Place names and the stories behind them are tangible expressions of New Zealand’s culture, heritage and language," says Mr Haanen.

"The Board’s work over the past year in naming and recording the geographic markers that make up our home - on the land, seafloor, offshore islands and in the Ross Dependency of Antarctica - helps build a stronger and more connected New Zealand."

"When a place name is made official, only that name can be used on official maps and in official documentation. This is especially critical for emergency services as a unique place name is one of the factors that confirm an address," says Mr Haanen.

More than 20 place name proposals were notified, giving New Zealanders the opportunity to have their say in naming ‘their place’.

"The public submissions on these proposals form a key part of the Board’s (and the Minister for Land Information’s) decision making on assigning new and changing existing place names and making them official," says Mr Haanen.

"We also updated the New Zealand Gazetteer - the primary tool for people to find place names and information about them - making it more accessible, easier to use and improving how Antarctic places names are shown."

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