Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst with Takitimu Māori Ward councillors from left Ana Apatu, Kellie Jessup and Renata Nepe at the Downer depot in Hastings. Downer NZ has been contracted to install the signs. Photo: Lauren Crimp / RNZ
Māori place names are being added to new road signs in Hastings.
Hastings District Council is replacing more than 20 blue directional road signs which were faded and hard to read, and taking the opportunity to add the Māori names.
For example, a sign to Havelock North will also read Karanema - the original Māori name for the area.
Ngāti Kahungunu chair Bayden Barber said the addition of te reo Māori was important for the iwi's identity and tikanga.
"They talk about place and our connections to that place, and we are happy seeing that being recognised in this way."
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was important to recognise the status of te reo Māori as a taonga of iwi Māori and to celebrate and support the revitalisation of the language in Hastings.
"Being familiar with te reo Māori, along with mana whenua aspirations, values and cultural customs helps us to acknowledge our unique cultural heritage and identity, and build stronger, more equitable communities."
The signs were mostly around the CBD ring road - Maraekākaho Road/Pakowhai Road, St Aubyn Street, Hastings Street and Southampton Street.
Some signs on the main roundabout into Havelock North would also be replaced.