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Mountain by any other name

By Geoff Vause
[email protected]

Kahungunu ki Wairarapa boss PJ Devonshire says Carterton’s new names for rooms at its events centre “are a good start”.

Mr Devonshire said he enjoyed the history lesson available in naming the auditorium Taratahi and the main meeting room used by the council for its meetings Hurunuiorangi.

Mayor John Booth had said Taratahi was the only name for the district’s mountain, or maunga, when his council voted on the names recently.

“John would know,” Mr Devonshire said. “The Booth whanau has had a relationship with us in this area for five or six generations.”

“Holdsworth might have been the first pakeha to climb the mountain, but he was taken there by our people. A bit like Sherpa Tenzing,” he said.

“Everest hadn’t been climbed of course. We had been climbing Taratahi for a little while.”

Mr Devonshire said there were vantage points where the ‘one peak’ of Taratahi’s name could be seen with the twin peaks of Tararua at the same time.

He said Hurunuiorangi was the right name for a meeting room where major decisions were made, as it was also the name for the marae.

“The council is trying to rebrand the centre, we understand that.”

In keeping with recent Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Mr Devonshire sits on the council with Aunty Lou Cook as non-voting iwi representatives, and he makes the point “it is not tokenism”.

“Some see it as that, but we don’t. This started when Ron Mark was mayor, and things are coming along slowly but they are coming along.

“We enjoy doing things like sharing the citizenship ceremonies at the events centre. We powhiri the new citizens — we get the first word to welcome them.

“It’s the little things that count.”


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