As Matariki celebrations kick in to gear across the country, Wellington City Council has unanimously voted through a proposal to make the capital a te reo Māori city. The policy, named Te Tauihu, aims to make te reo a core part of Wellington's identity through ensuring it is widely seen, heard and spoken.
The draft policy was made public in February calling for feedback on how te reo Māori can be more visible in the everyday lives of Wellingtonians. An action plan will now be created in collaboration with mana whenua and key stakeholders and will set out the pathway towards making Wellington a bilingual city by 2040.
Deputy Mayor Jill Day said the Council will incorporate te reo in its decision-making processes and functions, in how it communicates, through city signage, facilities, design and through cultural investment.
The Council revealed that the first step was the gifting of the name Te Ngākau (meaning the heart) to Civic Square by iwi Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika. The name will go before the Council's City Strategy Committee for formal adoption on 21 June.
The Council and mana whenua are also working on te reo Māori names for Botanic Gardens and the Town Belt.