Whanganui or Wanganui?

updated By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Tempers have flared amongst iwi member over the 7-6 vote of the Whanganui District Council not to send an application to the New Zealand Geographic Board to change Whanganui town name to include the letter 'H'.

The vote has also raised concern with the Whanganui Mayor and her council member.

Early this week Whanganui District Council voted to send a request to the New Zealand Geographic Board to change the name of Whanganui town to include the 'H'.

It was a split vote 7-6 opposing the permanent change. However, Whanganui Mayor Annette Main supports the change.

Mayor Main says, “I believe it was actually time for us to make that change to show as a council that we were prepared to lead and we were prepared to actually ask the geographic board to consult with our community.”

In 2009 the New Zealand Geographic Board agreed on including the H and said it was up to the business owners in the city whether they use the 'H'.

Now the local tribe wants it to be compulsory for everyone to include the letter 'H' in all areas including the outer rural areas.  Che Wilson believes the change will be beneficial for everyone.

Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe says a close relationship with local tribes is the only way to move forward.

Whanganui iwi and hapū are set to have another meeting in the coming weeks where they hope to have an independent request to the New Zealand Geographic Board to the table.