New Zealand to rename 3 locations containing racist term
Three locations in North Canterbury will have their names changed to words from the indigenous Maori language to reflect native grass and trees found in the area.
Nigger Stream will be renamed as Pukio Stream, Niggerhead will be known as Tawhai Hill while Nigger Hill will be changed to Kanuka Hills.
Land Information Minister Louise Upston said the new names will reflect modern attitudes.
“These names reflect a time when attitudes towards this word were markedly different to what they are now,” Upston said. “It is a word that is clearly offensive to most people today, so I am pleased to make this decision.”
Despite the move to change the three areas' names, there have been no attempts to rename other places with derogatory words including Darkies Creek and Darkies Terrace, which were named after Arthur “Darkie” Addison who was an African-American prospector in the 1860s.
The names of places in New Zealand can be changed if a member of the public puts forward a proposal to do so.
“This isn’t about rewriting history – it is and will remain a matter of public record that these three places used to carry different names,” Upston added. “However, in a society like ours that is multicultural and where most New Zealanders do not go out of their way to be offensive or exclude others, I do not believe this word has a place in our official names.”