File ref: IRC-3766
8 September 2022
[FYI request #20262 email]
Kia ora Ben
Name Change Steeple Rock
Thank you for your request made under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987
(the Act), received on 18 August 2022. You requested the fol owing information:
• Can you provide information regarding the Māori name change of Steeple Rock, the offshore rock
Wellington City Council (the Council) has partly granted
your request for information.
The Council does not hold information as to why the name changed from Te-Ure-o-Kupe to Te-Aroaro-o-
Kupe. This part of your request has been refused under section 17(e) of the Act, that the document al eged
to contain the information requested does not exist or despite reasonable efforts to locate it, cannot be
found. However, in consultation with New Zealand Geographic Board’s (the Board) Secretary, we are able
to provide some explanation on the name change from Steeple Rock to Te-Aroaro-o-Kupe.
The alteration of Steeple Rock to the dual name Steeple Rock/Te Aroaro-o-Kupe was not done by the
Council. The official dual place name, Steeple Rock/Te Aroaro-o-Kupe
was altered from Steeple Rock
pursuant to sections 83 to 87 of the Port Nicholson Block (Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika) Claims
Settlement Act 2009 –
section 5.13 of the Taranaki Whānui Deed of Settlement.
The Board does not hold any historical information on this Treaty settlement dual name as none was
provided during Treaty negotiations. Possibly Te Arawhiti (formerly the Office of Treaty Settlements), holds
the information. However the Board’s Oral History
publication of the mid-1990’s describes Te Aroaro ō
Kupe as ‘the presence of Kupe’ and ‘the fishing place Kupe reserved for himself’ – see pp 14 and 17:
The official dual name can be searched in the New Zealand Gazetteer
the Board https://gazetteer.linz.govt.nz/place/7521,
though as advised, no story is provided. The replaced
name, Steeple Rock, has some information on its origin: https://gazetteer.linz.govt.nz/place/55294.
On 4 August 2009, the Port Nicholson Block (Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika) Claims Settlement Act
2009 took effect. Treaty settlements sometimes include restoration of original Māori place names to
recognise their significance. The local Taranaki Whanui iwi requested the change, acknowledging that this
place had a name of significance before European settlement. On 3 September 2009, the Board advised of
the name changes to six official place names in Wellington City. The Council is required to use this official
Treaty dual place name in our official documents (including signs, brochures, maps, website, etc) pursuant
to section 32 of the New Zealand Geographic Board Act 2008. On 30 September 2009, a memo went to the
Mayor and City Councillors advising that signage will be changed over the next 12 months with written
material being reprinted.
Right of review
If you are not satisfied with the Council’s response, you may request the Office of the Ombudsman to
investigate the Council’s decision. Further information is available on the Ombudsman website,
Please note, we may proactively release our response to your request with your personal information
I trust this information is useful. Thank you again for your request, if you have any questions, please feel
free to contact me.
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