What's in a name? He aha rā te ingoa?
Building projects represent important opportunities to recognise the whakapapa of specific sites and weave that into the project. Taking these opportunities is a restorative step, so that future generations of Kāi Tahu will see themselves reflected in the world they live in, or come home to. Using existing Māori names for locations, and exercising naming rights for buildings, help to build mana, remember and recognise history, and provide a way to connect mana whenua with the wider community.
As well as being one of two Tumu Whenua | Executive Directors for the southernmost region of Te Pūkenga, Megan Pōtiki is a mana whenua representative working with Aukaha. Aukaha's work includes the development of cultural narratives to embed mana whenua values into strategic public and private projects. The starting point for this mahi is the framework of values developed by her late husband, Tahu Pōtiki.
Megan works with many old records and manuscripts to research each site's history, unearthing names and stories to piece together what the site meant to mana whenua. Triangulation of sources is important; whakapapa connections ensure authentic placenames are usually recorded in multiple places. For example:
- George Street in Dunedin is being redeveloped currently. This used to be the waterfront, so the narrative informing the design is around use of the site as a mahinga kai, a place where food was gathered.
- The new ACC building under construction will be called Ōtepoti, the old name for the site. A poti is a sturdy four-cornered kete with woven handles.
Sometimes the narrative relates to the building's purpose rather than its site:
- Refit of the Dunedin police station incorporates a heavy narrative about mamae. Māori soldiers coming home from World War 1 and World War 2 did not receive the same recognition and opportunities that Pākehā soldiers did. The resulting brokenness in families helps explain current high Māori criminal offending rates. Acknowledging this pain will contribute to understanding, and the station redesign seeks to achieve a sense of calmness.
- When mana whenua signed the Otago Deed to sell land, they were promised hospitals and schools as well as 10% of the land for food gathering. Member of Parliament H K Taiaora was a passionate advocate for the Deed to be honoured, so the new Dunedin hospital will be named after his house, Whakatuputupu. The name means retribution/reprisal/utu, about holding fast to the past in order to remember to make things right.
Megan's regional knowledge and research expertise is an integral part of developing many project stories. These cultural narratives inform project design, to incorporate elements that authentically reflect mana whenua values. Providing identifiable markers of cultural identity enable Māori and Pākehā to appreciate the past and look ahead to the future together as Tiriti partners.
- Contact Megan Pōtiki | Whakapā atu ki a Megan Pōtiki
- Find more Maori research stories | Whai atu i ētahi atu kōrero rangahau Māori
He āheinga hirahira ngā kaupapa hanga whare kia whakamana i te whakapapa o ētahi wāhi pū, kia whatuhia ērā kōrero ki te kaupapa. He haerenga whakarauora ēnei āheinga kia taea ai ngā uri Kāi Tahu e whai ake nei te kite i a rātou anō i te ao e ora nei rātou, e hoki mai nei. Ko te whakamahinga i ngā ingoa Māori tūturu mō ngā wāhi, ko te whakaū ki te mana hei whakaingoa e hiki ana i te mana, hei maumahara, hei whakamōhio i te hītori, hei whakarato i tētahi momo kia hono i a mana whenua ki te hapori whānui.
Ko tētahi o ngā Tumu Whenua e rua ki te rohe o Te Tai Tonga ki Te Pūkenga, ko Megan Pōtiki hoki tētahi māngai mō te mana whenua e mahi tahi ana ki a Aukaha. Ko ngā mahi a Aukaha e whakauru ana i te whakawhanaketanga i ngā pūkōrero Māori kia whakararau i ngā whanonga pono o mana whenua ki ngā kaupapa rautaki ā-tūmatanui, ā-tumataiti hoki. Ko te mea tīmatanga o tēnei mahi, ko te pou tarāwaho whanonga pono i whanakehia ai e tana hoa tāne i mate kē, ko Tahu Pōtiki.
E mahi ana a Megan ki te mahi a ngā tāhuhu kōrero me ngā pukapuka tawhito kia rangahaua te hītori o ia wāhi, e tūhura ana i ngā ingoa me ngā kōrero kia whai take i te hiranga i te wāhi ki a mana whenua. Ko te mahi tapatoru te mea tino whakahirahira; ko ngā hononga whakapapa e whakaū ai i ngā ingoa tūturu kua tuhia ki ngā tini momo. Hei tauira:
- E whakahou ana a George Street ki Ōtepoti i tēnei wā. I ngā wā o mua, he momo takutai tērā wāhi, nō reira, ka whāki atu tērā pūkōrero o ngā whakaahua i te whakamahinga i tērā wāhi mō te mahinga kai.
- Ko Ōtepoti te ingoa o te whare ACC e hāngai tonu ana, te ingoa tūturu mō tērā wāhi. He poti tētahi momo kete koki whā mārō.
I ētahi wā, ka hāngai te pūkōrero ki te take o te whare, hei aha te wāhi:
- Ko te whakahounga i te whare pirihimana ki Ōtepoti e whakauru ana i ngā pūkōrero e hāngai ana ki te mamae. Kāore ētahi hoia Māori i hoki ki te kāinga i te whiwhi i ngā tohu, i ngā kōwhiringa rite ki ngā hoia Pākehā. Ko tērā momo pakaru e whakamārama ana i ngā tatauranga nui o ngā taihara Māori. Ka tūtohu i tēnei mamae, ka mārama ā, ka whai atu te whakahounga rā kia tau te mauri.
- I te hainatanga o te Otago Deed i a mana whenua ki te hoko whenua, i taurangihia ētahi hohipera me ētahi kura ki a rātou, ā, 10% o te whenua kia kohi kai. Ko H K Taiaroa, tētahi mema paremata, tētahi kaihāpai whiwhita mō te whakahonore i te Deed, nō reira, ka whakaingoatia te hohipera hou ki Ōtepoti whai muri i tana whare, ko Whakatuputupu. Ko te ingoa rā e hāngai ana ki te utu, ko te mau tonu ki ngā hītori kia whakatika i ngā hara.
Ko ngā mātauranga ā-rohe me ana pūkenga rangahau ētahi wāhanga whakahirahira ki te whakawhanake i ngā kaupapa pūkōrero. Ka whāki atu ngā pūkōrero Kāi Tahu i te whakaahua i te kaupapa, ki te whakauru i ngā āhuatanga e whaiwhakaaro tūturu ana ki ngā whanonga pono o mana whenua. Kia whakarato i ngā tohu tūtohu tuakiritanga e whakamana ai i a ngāi Māori me ngāi Pākehā ki te whakamaioha i te hitori, ki te titiro whakamua hei hoa Tiriti.