Te Ātiawa feel ignored by Hutt City Council over naming of new recreational centre

By Ripeka Timutimu

A Te Ātiawa spokesperson is accusing the Hutt City Council of ignoring local iwi over the naming of a new recreational centre in Taita.

Kura Moeahu says the council came to local iwi for a name, but it seems that has fallen on deaf ears.

It was hoped that this new building could be a place to bring people together.  But it looks as though local Māori and the local council have their wires crossed.

Moehu says, “We gave the name Te Mako to the Council.  This is an historical name used by Māori in this area.”

The Walter Nash name has long been seen here on this stadium and a Hutt City Council spokesperson told Te Kāea they want to take that name and use it.

The details of how a name for the centre will be chosen and how community views will be gathered are still being decided, but Council recognises how important it is for the community to have their say.

Moeahu says, “I've spoken to many amongst the community and most don't know the significance or importance of the area to Māori, even though the community is largely made up of Māori and Pacific Island people.”

With issues still to be resolved, one thing's clear, a new stadium will be opening its doors in the very near future, name or no name.