A park in Porirua has a new name after local iwi requested a name change and consultation took place. Local iwi said the park's former name, Calliope Park, was culturally offensive to mana whenua. 

Calliope Park will now be called Matahourua Park - this is in line with the recent renaming of Calliope Crescent to Matahourua Crescent in Porirua in April.

In a statement from Porirua City Council, Ngāti Toa requested the name Calliope be changed because it is culturally offensive to mana whenua.

The iwi gifted Porirua City Council the name Matahourua as a more fitting name to reflect the heritage and history of the people living in Porirua.

Why is Calliope culturally offensive?

Calliope is the name of the warship that held rangatira and paramount leader of Ngāti Toa Te Rauparaha captive after he was arrested in 1846 by Governor George Grey. 

"Due to this historic relationship, the name Calliope, currently used for the park, is not respectful to Ngāti Toa," a statement from the Porirua City Council said. 

Why is the park being called Matahourua Park? 

Matahourua is the name of Kupe’s ocean-going, twin-hulled waka that he used when he discovered Aotearoa.

It is said that it was Kupe’s wife Kuramārōtini (to some iwi Hine-te-aparangi is the person who said this) who saw a large land mass shrouded in cloud and called "He Ao! He Aotea! He Aotearoa!" which translates to "A cloud! A long white cloud!" - and the land became known as Aotearoa.

Top Image: A park in Porirua will be renamed from Calliope Park to Matahourua Park. Photo: Porirua City Council/Supplied

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