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Calliope Park name change proposed

Calliope Park

Following in the footsteps of the recent street name shift from Calliope to Matahourua Crescent, the nearby park in Cannons Creek is proposed to have the same change.

Ngāti Toa has requested Calliope Park be changed as the name is culturally offensive to mana whenua.

The proposal to change the name of Calliope Crescent was first put to Council during Māori Language Week in 2021, after which there were ongoing discussions with Ngāti Toa about the renaming.

As a result, Ngāti Toa gifted Council the name Matahourua, a more fitting name that reflects the heritage and the history of the people living here.

Calliope Crescent was officially renamed Matahourua Crescent last month. Changing a park name follows a different process than renaming a street, so that is underway now – with the proposal open for public feedback until 24 June.

Why is Calliope culturally offensive?

Calliope was a 26-gun frigate that held Te Rauparaha captive on board following his arrest in 1846 by Governor Grey. Te Rauparaha, Ngāti Toa’s paramount chief, was instrumental in the journey of the iwi from Kawhia in the 1820s to Porirua in search of a more secure and prosperous life. He was interred without charge on the Calliope for 18–24 months.

Due to this historic relationship, the name Calliope, currently used for the park, is not respectful to Ngāti Toa.

Why Matahourua?

Matahourua is the name of Kupe’s ocean-going, twin-hulled waka that he used when he discovered Aotearoa.

It is said that it was Kupe’s wife Kurumarotini who saw a large land mass shrouded in cloud and called “He Ao! He Aotea! He Aotearoa!” (“A cloud! A long white cloud!”), and the land became known as Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud.

Share your view

If you’d like to provide feedback on the proposed park name change go to our website here, or email your feedback to before 24 June.

9 Jun 2022