|Ng? Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa|
|Headquarters||Radio New Zealand House, 155 The Terrace, Wellington |
|Parent agency||Land Information New Zealand|
The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) (M?ori: Ng? Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) is constituted under the New Zealand Geographic Board (Ng? Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008, and was previously constituted under the New Zealand Geographic Board Act 1946. Although an independent institution, it is responsible to the Minister for Land Information.
It has responsibility for geographical and hydrographic names within New Zealand and its territorial waters. This includes naming small urban settlements, localities, mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, harbours and natural features and may include researching local M?ori names. In the Ross Sea region of Antarctica it has named many geographical features. It has no authority to alter street names, a local body responsibility, or the name of any country. The Board has authority over official placenames only, and most placenames, including most towns and cities, ports and bodies of water have not been mentioned in legislation or validated by treaties, and so are not official.
Under the New Zealand Geographic Board (Ng? Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008, the Board comprises the Surveyor-General of New Zealand (appointed by LINZ) as Chair, the National Hydrographer (appointed by LINZ) and eight other members nominated by the Minister for Land Information. The ministerial appointees include two persons recommended by the Minister of M?ori Development and representatives of Te R?nanga o Ng?i Tahu, the New Zealand Geographical Society, the Federated Mountain Clubs of NZ, and Local Government New Zealand.
As of March 2018, the board members are:
In 2015, a member of the New Zealand public wrote to the New Zealand Geographic Board complaining about three place names in Canterbury in the South Island that use the word "nigger": Nigger Hill, Niggerhead, and Nigger Stream. A public consultation was set up with 223-61 responses in favour of changing the name. Following consultations with the Ng?i Tahu tribe who reside in the area, the names K?nuka Hills and Tawhai Hill were suggested as replacements. This was in reference to the K?nuka and Tawhai tree. The stream was somewhat more complicated; it was originally proposed to be renamed to "Steelhead Stream", but eventually the M?ori name for the Carex secta (a tussock grass that grows in the area), P?kio Stream, was favored instead. The proposed change of name was accepted with the Land Information New Zealand Minister Louise Upston stating "These names reflect a time when attitudes towards this word were markedly different to what they are now. It is a word that is clearly offensive to most people today, so I am pleased to make this decision." The name change was made official on 15 December 2016 after being published in the New Zealand Gazette.