Both place names 'Wanganui' and 'Whanganui' have been
recognised as official names of the city in Parliament today.
Amendments to the Geographic Board Act 2008 would be passed
in Parliament today and included in the Statutes Amendment
Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson said an
amendment would clear up some confusion over alternative
He said not all alternative place names would need to be
listed in official documents or publications.
The amendment passed in Parliament today clarified that
either name, or both, could be used.
"An example of this is Wanganui and Whanganui - either of
which can be used in official documentation following the
passing of this legislation," said Mr Williamson.
The Government reached a compromise in 2009 between local iwi
and other residents, that Wanganui could be spelled with or
without an h.
Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson announced the
same year the official geographic name for the city could be
either 'Wanganui' or 'Whanganui'. The New Zealand Geographic
Board decided the spelling should be changed to the Maori
version, Whanganui, but locals voted four to one against.
At the time Mr Williamson said the compromise would avoid
getting the Maori Party offside, while leaving opponents with
the option of continuing with the h-less spelling. Government
agencies were told to include the "h" as soon as they could.
Two referendums were held on the issue, in 2006 and 2009, and
results were in favour of keeping the spelling as Wanganui.
- Kate Shuttleworth of APNZ