Wellington's 'Waripori' Street corrected to honour chief Te Wharepōuri

7:16 pm on 5 March 2020

A descendant of Māori chief Te Wharepōuri says correcting the spelling of a suburban Wellington street named after him will help right an historic wrong.

23062016 Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King. Wellington City Council.

Wellington City Council. (file photo) Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Wellington City councillors have voted today to rename Waripori Street in Berhampore.

A resident in Berhampore recently raised the issue with the council that Waripori Street was probably named after Māori chief Te Wharepōuri (Ngāti Tāwhirikura, Te Āti Awa), one of the 500 chiefs who signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The proposal to change the name was backed by local iwi and the Wellington Tenths Trust.

In its Strategy and Policy Committee meeting today, councillors agreed to make the change.

Miriama Te One, who addressed the meeting with her father - Wellington Tenths Trust chair Mark Te One - said their ancestor never got the respect from the colonial authorities he deserved.

"When you come in and you're interacting iwth a culture and you don't know the values of that culture then you can do a huge amount of harm and that's what we've seen in Aotearoa.

"I think it's really important that we acknowledge that alongside this because Te Wharepōuri in itself is a symbol of how we can make things better."

Miriama Te One commended council officers for their work in going through the records to confirm the correct spelling.

In a statement, a Wellington City Council spokesperson said the council was delighted with the change.

"We are pleased that the announcement made on Waitangi Day by mayor Andy Foster to progress the name change has been carried forward by the Council. Councillor Jill Day has been a driver through the Te Tauihu Reo Policy and has worked with the Trust to facilitate this with Councillors and the mayor."

"For all sorts of reasons, streets, towns and geographical features were wrongly named - mainly in the 19th century. I think it's reasonable that we work to set the record straight," Day said.

The committee chair said the names of other streets in Wellington should also be looked at.

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