New Zealand plans to replace racist placenames

The New Zealand Geographic Board has proposed renaming three places due to their ‘discriminatory and derogatory’ nature.

New Zealand Geographic Board recommends placename changes.

New Zealand Geographic Board recommends placename changes. Image by Nick Kean / CC BY 2.0

All three are in North Canterbury, in the Southern Alps of the South Island. The proposal is open to public comment for three months. If accepted Niggerhead will become Tawhai Hill and Nigger Hill will become Kanuka Hills (both are native trees); and Nigger Stream would become Steelhead Stream, which is a local trout species. The NZGB said they do not know exactly how or when the places got their names but two have have appeared on maps since the 1860s. Other proposed name changes included altering the spelling of South Otago's Tokomairiro river to Tokomairaro (the correct Maori transliteration) and changing Rainbow Mountain to Maunga Kakaramea. Read more:

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