The official spelling of Otumoetai is set to change with the addition of a macron – or dash – over the letter u making it Otūmoetai.
Otumoetai is set to get a macron.
The New Zealand Geographic Board has decided after 150 years to ‘correct the spelling' of Otumoetai, which it says is the current recorded, but not official name.
The intention to change Otumoetai was Gazetted on June 5. It includes Otumoetai Suburb, Otumoetai Beach, Otumoetai Pa and the Otumoetai Channel. The board has naming jurisdiction over these types of places only.
Organisations such as schools and businesses will not be required to use the macron if they do not wish to.
If the macron is approved, signs, maps, charts, and tourist publications that refer to the suburb and the other names will be required to use the correct spelling, says Wendy Shaw, Secretary to the New Zealand Geographic Board, Land Information New Zealand.
The change will be gradual as the materials come up for renewal, updating and maintenance.
The board encourages public agencies to adopt the correct spelling of any official name, including macrons, hyphens, and duals in their materials as they come up for renewal.
There is no penalty involved for those that choose not to, says Wendy.
The board has legal powers to examine cases of doubtful spelling of names and determine the spelling to be adopted on official charts or official maps; to collect and encourage the use of original Māori names; and to seek advice from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) on the correct spelling of any Māori name.
Otumoetai, which means Stand of the Sleeping Tide, will be changed to Otūmoetai with a macron after a submissions process.
Information about the proposals and how to make submissions on them is available here.
The deadline for submissions is September 5, 2014. The board will consider all submissions later in the year and final decisions will be made by either the board or the Minister for Land Information.
The Otumoetai suburb name proposal arose through association with the proposed name for Otumoetai Beach, says Wendy.
Discussion on the correct spelling for Otumoetai emerged from public consultation over the proposal to name the beach Stokes Beach, notified from November 14, 2013 to February 14, 2014, and also a public hui held in Tauranga on December 19, 2013.
Otumoetai Pa and Otumoetai Channel are included because the board wants consistent, accurate and standardised names, which is why it's proposing that all the Otumoetai geographic names be changed.
More information is available in the Otūmoetai Beach Proposal Report, which is publicly available on the Land Information New Zealand website here.
Maori language has had macrons since the late 1980s after Maori became an official language in New Zealand in 1987 with the Maori Language Act.
The agency responsible for the Act is The Maori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori. The NZ Geographic Board Act of 2008 requires it to seek advice from the commission on the correct spelling of any Maori name.
The orthographic conventions of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) are here.