Fri, Feb 9, 2024 11:50 AM

Macrons added to street signs in Marlborough


Maia Hart

Three years after agreeing to put macrons on more than a dozen incorrect te reo Māori street signs in Marlborough, most of them have been fixed.

It’s pleasing progress, says the person who asked the Marlborough District Council to fix the signs, Corey Hebberd, general manager at Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust.

The iwi made the request in a submission to the Marlborough District Council’s annual plan in 2021. The basis of the submission was that te reo Māori was a taonga, and something that should be treasured, Corey said last month.

Kōrari Gr in Blenheim was one of the incorrectly spelt street names. Photo: Maia Hart/LDR

“And that the signage could be easily updated to reflect the correct spelling,” he said.

“Three years on, it is pleasing to see progress being made on this work.”

Tohutō, or macrons, had been installed on all but five of the names requested by Hebberd on behalf of Rangitāne in 2021.

The macrons were the main spelling issue Corey had highlighted in the submission. They indicated a longer vowel and were missing from various places in Marlborough.

However he told the council in 2021 the list of words could be even longer, as other top of the south iwi could know of more.

Tōtara Pl in Redwoodtown, Blenheim. Photo: Maia Hart/LDR

Some, like Rangitane Drive in Havelock, which was correctly spelt Rangitāne, were put down in recent decades.

The five remaining signs would be completed by Marlborough Roads crews when they were in the area to complete work.

He said “in a more general sense” the iwi were encouraged by the “warm embrace” the community had shown for te reo Māori.

“Particularly in new projects, such as the recent construction of Te Kahu o Waipuna - Marlborough’s Library and Art Gallery, which is an amazing community facility that utilises te reo Māori throughout the building,” Corey said.

“We acknowledge the work of council kaimahi in supporting this kaupapa.”

Photo: Tōtara Pl in September last year, before a macron was added. Photo: Maia Hart/Supplied

Marlborough mayor Nadine Taylor said at an assets and services meeting on Tuesday it was pleasing to see the macrons had been added to the signs.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ on Air.

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