Green Party demands an immediate change of racist place names

By Heta Gardiner
  • South Island

The Green Party has sent an open letter to Minister Louise Upston urging her to change the names of Niggarhead and Niggar Hill in the South Island immediately.

The Green Party’s MP Marama Davidson has a firm message.

“The minister has the power to change it, so do it!”

Davidson is referring to Niggarhead, Niggar Hill, and Niggar Stream in the South island, which has outraged some people.  The names are widely accepted in that community and the Green Party has written an open letter to the Land Information Minister, Louise Upston.

“We here in New Zealand, and indigenousness people around the world know that name to be belittling and racist.”

The Geographic Board has sought public feedback on proposals to change the names. Tawhai Hill and Kanuka Hill have been proposed as alternative names for Niggerhead and Nigger Hill. The proposals are currently with Minister Upston.

Davidson says, “The public have indicated that they want the name changed. She needs to listen to them.”

The Minister Louise Upston wants to address all three name changes at once.

“There are two name changes before me at the moment, before consideration. I'm aware the geographic board have another one that they are considering, so what I want to do is look at all three together, which means putting a hold on the other two for now.”

Public consultation is currently underway on a name change for Nigger Stream.