10 Mar 2016

Whanganui landmark adopts its Maori name

6:38 pm on 10 March 2016

A Whanganui landmark - Virginia Lake - is now to be officially known as Rotokawau Virginia Lake.

The Whanganui District Council has voted to formally incorporate Rotokawau into the name, following a recommendation from its Tupoho Working Party.

Whanganui kaumatua John Maihi said Maori have always called the lake Rotokawau.

Mr Maihi said the word Rotokawau refered to the little black shags that frequented the area, but in a historical sense it also refered to a place where local Maori met.

Mayor Annette Main said the move was not designed to force people to use the Maori name but was about reflecting that historically the area had two identities.