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Ed Sheeran

Wainuiomata naming disturbs peace

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The Wainuiōmata Local Board is set to reconsider a decision it made to reject a Māori name for a new street in the Lower Hutt suburb.

Mana whenua backed calling the street Raukura, the white feather which is a symbol of the Taranaki people who settled in the area.

Despite a large Māori presence at the meeting, including a screening of a video from Te Ātiawa kaumātua Kara Puketapu emphasising peaceful co-existence and the long association Māori have had with the area, the board voted 4-2 to call the street after former mayor Harry Martin.

Board chair Gabriel Tupou, who was one of two members who could not attend the vote due to alert level 2 restrictions, said the matter would be revisited at the board’s March meeting.

Students from a local college recently campaigned to get more Māori street names in Lower Hutt, noting that the existing names were overwhelmingly European.

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