New Zealand Geographic Board

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"NZGB" redirects here. For the airport ICAO code NZGB, see Great Barrier Aerodrome.
New Zealand Geographic Board
Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa
Agency overview
Jurisdiction New Zealand
Headquarters Radio New Zealand House, 155 The Terrace, Wellington
41°16′53″S 174°46′33″E / 41.281299°S 174.775862°E / -41.281299; 174.775862
Minister responsible
Parent agency Land Information New Zealand

The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) (Māori: Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) is constituted under the New Zealand Geographic Board (Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008,[1] formerly under the New Zealand Geographic Board Act 1946. Although an independent institution, it is responsible to the Minister for Land Information. It has responsibility for geographical and hydrographic names within New Zealand and its territorial waters.[2] This includes naming small urban settlements, localities, mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, harbours and natural features and may include researching local Māori names. In the Ross Sea region of Antarctica it has named many geographical features. It has no authority to alter street names, a local body responsibility, or the name of any country.

Much of the controversy about the work of the NZGB derives from the movement to revert placenames to their pre-European forms, written in contemporary orthography with standardised spelling, macrons, etc.[3] The NZGB has authority over official placenames only, and most placenames, including most towns and cites, ports and bodies of water have not been mentioned in legislation or validated by treaties, and so are not official. One of the largest sources of official placenames is Treaty of Waitangi settlements, which frequently rename places (particularly uninhabited places) and commonly introduce names with macrons, until recently absent from placenames.[citation needed]

In 2014, the members were:

  • David Barnes
  • Jenni Vernon
  • Professor Michael Roche
  • Dr Matanuku Mahuika
  • Garrick Murfitt
  • Adam Greenland - Land Information New Zealand official
  • Professor Merata Kawharu
  • Assistant Professor Te Maire Tau