Friday, August 6, 2010


I am opposed to naming a ridge on Aoraki for ed hillary. Sorry, it is just not appropriate.

From NZH
"The Geographic Board has narrowed a list of several public proposals for honouring the New Zealand icon down to one - to rename the South Ridge of Aoraki-Mt Cook "Hillary Ridge"  ...While some might think Sir Ed's enormous contribution merits the naming of a whole mountain, or mountain range"
Ummm - what contribution did ed make to maori?

I tend to believe that everything should be renamed back to maori. Just think about the recent weather in maori- showing the correct names for each area - it didn't make anyone's head explode. We could double-name for a while, no problem. Consultation is important as this story shows.

From NZH
"Te Heipora Place, off Arataki Rd, was named after the principal wife of Te Hapuku, an important chief in the area in the 1870s. Te Heipora owned a large area of land there.
Residents objected at a naming and blessing ceremony yesterday morning because they had not been part of the naming process, saying the name was too unfamiliar and difficult to pronounce.
Oh dear - Te Heipora (tay hay-pora) - that's fixed.
"But kaumatua Jerry Hapuku said the name had great significance, and matched Karanema Drive, which was named after Te Heipora's son or grandson.
The iwi did not intend to compromise. "We want this name on this street. It is how we feel as descendants," he said."
and as Pukepuke Tangiora Huata, a descendent of Te Heipora says
"We have foreign tourists visiting who can say the words right but some people born in New Zealand don't want to."
Don't want to!

If we did go to maori names we would soon adjust. It would really help this country and create opportunities to move forward.

Bit more about names from Lew at Kiwipolitico


Mike said...

Hi Marty. Do you know off-hand if the South Ridge has a Maori name from the past and what it was? I've done some quick Googling and not found anything, probably because most people lately have referred to it as South Ridge.

Marty Mars said...

No mike I'm not aware of the name of that ridge. I hope we can find a really great way to honour ed, I'm sure we can.

Evelyn Cook said...

Why would the 'South Ridge' have a separate name at all. Aoraki is the tīpuna, it therefore follows that the 'shoulder' back, feet etc are all Aoraki. However, that is me thinking with my traditional hat on. I expect that European thinking will prevail and our world view will count for nought, again.

PS I am not a noted scholar so I may well be out of sync with other Ngāi Tahu on this but this is the way that the late Kelly Davis-Te Maire thought of such matters

Marty Mars said...

I tautoko your comment Evelyn and i cannot understand how this could even be an option on the shortlist, I believe Ta Tipene is still on the NZGB.

Mike said...

People tend to call things what they want. If the name's developed on its own, it's nearly always going to be meaningful to someone. The name doesn't change what something is, and things can have lots of names depending on whom you're speaking with. It could be my perspective speaking, but I don't have much problem with mountaineers making up their own names for things. They'll do so anyway, no matter what people tell them.

If something doesn't have a name, and they need to refer to it, they'll make up a name so they can talk about it. Maybe it'll get a name of a person like "Jenny's Bluff" (eg. if it's a bluff where someone called Jenny fell off and died), or maybe they'll just call it something like "Cranky Knob" or "Deception Creek". Maybe it varies with locality, but frequently in New Zealand if people know of the Maori names, in the mountains I think they tend to use them. Mountaineers and trampers spend so much lives interacting with these places, they get very personal and they need names so they can talk about what they care about.

Having said all of this, I can't understand the Hillary Ridge thing. It already has a name that people have used for ages---South Ridge. It's as if someone's decided "he's so great that we want to make it even more obvious, let's name a mountain feature after him". Then they've poked around until a "worthy" feature turned up with which he had an association. It's not getting a name change because it especially needed one, or because the people who have a close relationship with that ridge like to use that name. (Well, maybe they do and always have, but I didn't see any mention of it in that Herald article.)

With enough nominations and support, the Geographic Board often stamps names on almost-anonymous features on maps that would barely be recognised, but trying to change the name of something that apparently already has a common name seems strange. If we're going to officially recognise names (useful for various reasons), it should be what things have been called in the past by people who care about them rather than simply trying to project something else onto a feature. If people start calling it something different, the official name(s) should be updated to reflect this.