Petone to Pito-one name change gets backing from Hutt City Council

Hutt City Council has backed a move to change the name of Petone to Pito-one.

Jackson Street in Petone, or Pito-one. Photo: Nick James / RNZ

The Wellington Tenths Trust and Palmerston North Māori Reserves Trust have worked on an application for the name change throughout this year.

The two trusts contacted Hutt City Council to back the move, which was discussed at the council’s Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee on Tuesday afternoon.

In the meeting agenda it stated the evolution of the name Pito-one into its current form, Petone, followed colonial settlement in the region during the latter half of the 19th century. The document said it represented a misspelling of the area’s traditional name.

For any official name change, an application would have to be made to and considered by the New Zealand Geographic Board.

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry will now send a letter to the New Zealand Geographic Board, reflecting the council’s backing.

RNZ spoke to locals in the suburb’s Jackson Street about their views on changing the name.

Vishnu had lived in the suburb for the past 11 months and reckoned it would be a good move.

“Everything should be in their original form, they should not be influenced by other culture and perspective.”

Ian, who had worked in Petone for 15 years, told RNZ it would not achieve anything.

“I don’t think it is important really, I think what’s important is here and now and here now everyone knows this district as Petone – I don’t see the point in changing it.”

He said while he did not back it, he would not stop people who thought it was important.

“If they think that’s fine and they get on there and they make it happen that’s good, but I’ve got other work to get on with, to be honest.”

Leanne believed it would make sense to change it, given it was the original name and would also respect tikanga.

“The name’s just got a whole lot of history with it as well, so it is very important.”

Damien said he did not want it to change since he had always known it as Petone, and noted the cost of making a name change.

“[If] the council wants to spend money on that, spend some money on the roads, eh?”

James wanted it to change, and likened it to when the ‘H’ was added to Whanganui in 2015.

“It didn’t change anything, and it was a bit more respectful like, of what the name should be rather than people just being lazy on not pronouncing the H.”

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