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Council approves Calliope Crescent name change to Matahourua Crescent

Porirua City aerial.JPG

Porirua City Council has officially approved the name change of Calliope Crescent in Cannons Creek to Matahourua Crescent, to reflect that the name was culturally offensive to Ngāti Toa.

The decision was made at a meeting of Council’s Te Puna Kōrero committee today.

The proposal to change the name of Calliope Crescent was first put to Council during Māori Language Week in 2021, and since then there have been ongoing discussions with Ngāti Toa about the proposed change.

Calliope is considered culturally offensive because of the history of the vessel it is named after.

Calliope was a 26-gun frigate that held Te Rauparaha captive on board after his arrest in 1846 by Governor Grey. Te Rauparaha was a paramount chief of Ngāti Toa and was instrumental in the journey of the iwi from Kawhia in the 1820s to Porirua in search of a more secure and prosperous life.

Matahourua is the name gifted by Ngāti Toa to replace Calliope and was the name of the vessel which brought Kupe to Aotearoa. Kupe was the first Polynesian to discover Aotearoa.

“It’s in keeping with where the road is situated, surrounded by a myriad of nationalities, particularly by people that come from the Pacific,” said Ngāti Toa kaumatua Dr Taku Parai.

“We decided that Matahourua reflects the people of the isles, the ocean, the discovery, Kupe coming from the Pacific and we thought the naming of the street after his vessel was appropriate.”

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker supported the change as the new name is more representative of the diverse community in Porirua.

“The response from our community, the owners and tenants in Calliope Crescent has been positive, and I’m heartened that this change will reflect and respect the heritage of our community here,” she said.

The name change affects 20 houses, and residents will be notified of the proposed timeframes for the change and supported with this change of address. A blessing ceremony with residents and Ngāti Toa will also take place in the future to mark the change of address.

Porirua City Council will be reviewing its wider street naming policy at a later date.

7 Apr 2022