Public consultation underway for changing Maxwell township's name back to Pākaraka

3:36 pm on 30 May 2021

A name change for a small township on the outskirts of Whanganui is another step closer.

Whanganui District Council building

Photo: LDR

Public consultation is underway on a proposal to change the name of the settlement of Maxwell - which has links to a bloody incident during the New Zealand Wars - back to Pākaraka.

The name change is being pushed for by the Whanganui District Council, iwi Ngā Rauru and its hapū Ngāti Maika.

Maxwell is named after a Scotsman, George Maxwell, a militiaman who was involved in the notorious Handley's Woolshed incident in 1868.

According to Pākehā accounts, two Māori boys were killed, but Ngāti Maika says it was far worse and there was a massacre.

Because of that, the hapu says the name Maxwell is offensive.

Submissions to the Geographic Board are open until the end of August.

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