Wellington Scoop

New te reo name for Botanic Garden precinct

News from Wellington City Council
A te reo name has been gifted for use in the precinct which includes Wellington Botanic Garden.

The name Paekākā, meaning “realm or perch of the kākā”, was revealed today as part of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

The name, gifted by mana whenua, will apply to the area from the top of the Cable Car around the Pukehinau area, down to the Waipaekākā (stream) and Pakuao Kāinga in Thorndon (located above the end of Tinakori Road) – and take in all Council spaces and places.

“In the past, this area has long been associated with the trapping and snaring of kākā,” says iwi representative Honiana Love. “Hīnau trees were abundant in the area which attracted the kākā then, and the birds are still drawn here.”

As a result of the name gifting, once it has been through the formal Council processes to adopt the name, it is envisaged Council-run facilities in the Botanic Garden precinct, including the top of the Cable Car and Space Place, would incorporate “ki Paekākā”, which means “at Paekākā” into their branding and signage.

Deputy Mayor Jill Day says ki Paekākā fits well with the Council’s Naming Policy and Te Tauihu te reo Māori language policy.

“This is a name for the precinct which reflects its heritage and which the Council can recognise. The area is obviously well known for its European history, but Paekākā reflects what happened before that and this is how Wellington can even further acknowledge its rich past.”

Government weather forecasting agency MetService, which has offices above the Garden, also supports use of the new name.

Paekākā has been gifted as Wellington Botanic Garden celebrates its 150th year.

Gardens Manager David Sole says the name now helps acknowledge the area was once an essential food basket for Māori. “This area has always been special for Wellingtonians and it will be great to mark what was here in the past and make it part of our future.”

While the name has been offered as a gift by mana whenua, the formal processes to agree the name still have to be undertaken. There will be opportunity for community engagement during that process.

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  1. Ana T, 14. September 2019, 4:48

    How PC.

  2. Alf the Aspirational Apterxy, 14. September 2019, 7:30

    And how much did it cost ratepayers for this “gift” to be arranged? Is that what is meant by “community engagement”? Why does an entity based in Taranaki get to call the shots on the naming of Wellington’s places of interest?

  3. Brendan, 14. September 2019, 19:43

    Could it not have been Pakeha gardens since without us there wouldn’t be so many awful exotic plants threatening diversity?

  4. Guy M, 14. September 2019, 19:46

    Wow Alf, it must take some effort to be as ignorant and negative as you come across. Or are you just trolling? The Taranaki whanau is representative of the maori iwi that lived here, Te Ati-awa, all the way from Taranaki through Wellington and down to Nelson, and had possession of the lands between – until the pakeha arrived and took possession of their lands. The Love family are a key part of that iwi – and are an essential part of Wellington’s proud history. The Love surname comes from the very early encounters in this area between pakeha and maori – a whaler/sealer marrying a local maori girl. The association of the Love family and Wellington goes right back to the beginning of our city – and before.

    Paekākā is a very appropriate name indeed – representative of the fact that kākā were once plentiful here – became rare and scarce – and have only recently become plentiful once more as they escape from Zealandia and squawk their way around the city. For whatever reason they once loved this part of the city, they still adore the gardens around Glenmore St and are repopulating it once more. I love it ! Bring it on!

  5. BHS, 14. September 2019, 19:54

    Apparently the parrots are damaging new growth of the trees in the Botanical Gardens. An ironic choice of name. Well done WCC!!

  6. CC, 14. September 2019, 22:59

    BHS – you will probably find it is only the exotics that our winged eco-warriors are attacking. The endemic trees built up a resistance so they go for the ‘easy meat’.