Place name stories

Moves to restore Māori place names have gained momentum alongside the revitalisation of te reo Māori, helping to unlock stories left by those who have come before and providing a sense of belonging.

Allied Productions is producing an eight-part online video series in collaboration with the ODT. The place names project, Toitū te Whenua, will tell the stories of Māori place names in the South, recounting their whakapapa and addressing issues such as misspellings and the colonising practice of renaming places with European names.

The series was made possible through the support of Ōtākou Marae kaumātua Edward Ellison.

The episodes are available online at,and will also be broadcast on Channel 39 – Southern Television.

By Luke Chapman