The Dunedin City Council is calling for the public's help with street names after being criticised for coming up with a list made up of only white men.

Council staff called for people to come forward with names at yesterday's infrastructure services committee.

The call came after an initial list of 18 names was criticised for containing only white men.

The list was approved by councillors, but only after staff said a process to add a more diverse list of names was under way.

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After being quizzed by Cr Jinty MacTavish, digital services manager Tracey Tamakehu reiterated the initial list was the first part of a continuing process.

Further reports were in the pipeline and a more diverse list, made up of notable Dunedin people, would be brought to the next infrastructure services committee meeting next month.

"We would also like to invite the committee and the community to come back with suggested names we could include on to this list,'' Ms Tamakehu said.

People could make suggestions through email or the council call centre.

Street names did not have to recognise people and the council was having a discussion with the Botanic Garden about having streets named after local plants.

Governance manager Sandy Graham said the council would add a call for names to its newsletter, as suggested by Cr MacTavish.

Mayor Dave Cull said he hoped the next list of names would come from a "wider variety of cultural and gender backgrounds''.

The committee also discussed a proposed new road naming policy aimed at simplifying the process for developers coming up with their own street names.

Final sign-off of the policy was delayed until the next council meeting to give staff time to iron out a few issues raised yesterday.