This is the way to do it. So much history just under the surface and Māori will reveal it when it can be accepted - which it has been in this very effective research and name change.
For more than 110 years Hawera-based Matangarara Rd has wrongly been called Matangara Rd and although the slight error was overlooked by just about everyone else, Normanby resident Henare Ngaia was not going to let the issue slide. "Because of the wrong spelling the word meant nothing. But with `ra' added to the end of it a piece of our history can be remembered." The story goes that a woman rejected the man she was betrothed to because of his looks, and the union, perhaps designed to unite two marae, didn't take place. "She called him lizardface: `Mata' means face, `ngarara' means lizard."
He then met with both the Iwi Liaison Committee and the Hawera Community Board with a signed petition and a detailed history. "There was no objection to our proposal. In fact the Iwi Liaison Committee consisted of descendants from both the lady and the lizardface so they all knew the story." Mr Ngaia has now set his sights on roads in Normanby and Manaia.
Yes very good Mr Ngaia - thank you for your hard work in getting these spellings correct and revealing the history within. How many streets and names in this land have hidden history waiting to be revealed? Just about everywhere, just about everywhere.
The ownership of Māori names and intellectual property should be vested with Māori - end of story and the sooner the Wai 262 recommendations are implemented the better - then we won't have shockers like this french effort. I wish they would just leave Māori alone - they embarass themselves and insult all Māori.