Mackenzie District council to start using dual name of Takapō/Tekapo

10:54 am on 27 February 2021

The Mackenzie District Mayor says the council will start using the dual names of Tekapo and Takapō despite a recent survey showing resistance to a change.

Generic photo of Lake Tekapo

Photo: RNZ / Tess Brunton

The Mackenzie District Council surveyed local residents and businesses on whether they supported changing the name of Tekapo back to Takapō, but found almost all who responded did not want a name change.

Mayor Graham Smith said despite the survey results, he thinks people will be supportive of the council starting to use the dual name.

"We're not going out to change every name post etc, but we will be using the term Takapō/Tekapo and some of the Mackenzie documents now coming from the council will have the name Takapō on them."

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The Takapō/Tekapo township. File photo. Photo:

He said it will help people to familiarise themselves with the correct name for the town.

"The community's not probably ready to just accept the Takapō name, but it is the correct name. When we look back at our records the original station that was up there, long before the lake here arose for the hydro, it was called Takapō, spelt with an A."

Smith said most people understand why the council wants to use Takapō, and it is up to them to choose which name they use.

He said ultimately they need to use and respect the name that Takapō was given.

In te reo Māori, Takapō means "To leave in haste at night", while Smith said Tekapo was meaningless.

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