Adapting the name of Yatton Park to include its original Māori translation was a challenge a group of primary school children put to Tauranga City Council this week.
And it worked.
A paper will now be written to the proposal and will be formally considered by the council at a later date.
The group of 11 children from Merivale School, aged from 7 to 10 years old, gave a presentation to the council's Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday, asking elected members to consider giving Yatton Park a dual name with Tutarawananga a Tamatea Arikinui.
One by one, in rolling succession, the children explained they went to Yatton Park two weeks ago and learned of its history.
In the 14th century, Tamatea Arikinui arrived onboard the Takitimu waka and established Tauranga's first school. It was located in a cave on the banks of the Waimapu River and a pa was built on the headland to support the teachers and students.
The students, chosen from certain bloodlines, were taught how to read stars, fight, teach and how to heal.
They would go on to become future tohunga (teachers), priests, and wise men.
The school and its teachings were lost when the land was confiscated and subsequently sold on.
"Because of what we have learned ... having dual signage is important to identify the significance of the area to Māori. Our new slogan at Merivale is 'learning first' as we are situated in the first place of learning in Tauranga," Faa'silia Stanley said.
"What we'd like to see happen is the dual signage of the Yatton Park signs," Billie Taupai said.
The children reminded the council that in the 2005 Resource Management Plan, the council said it was going to undertake dual naming of the park as Tutarawananga a Tamatea Arikinui.
"That hasn't happened and we are trying to make it happen today," Billie said.
Kororia Ngatai said the reason they felt the dual signage was important was Yatton Park was "the second most spiritual place in Tauranga, with Mauao being the first".
The presentation was met with a round of applause from councillors and staff, who confirmed they would draft a paper and present it to the council for consideration.
Committee chairman Steve Morris congratulated the children, saying "mission accomplished".
"We will consider that. There will be a paper brought to council. You're more than welcome to come to council and listen to that."
After the meeting, teacher Sarah Talbut said she was incredibly proud of her students.
Talbut, known as whaea Sarah, said they discovered the 2005 council move towards dual naming Yatton Park as part of learning about kaitiaki and guardianship.
From there, the children led the charge through the process of phoning and emailing the council, discovering which committee dealt with such matters, then contacted the staff and elected members to discuss the matter before then going through the public submissions process. They also consulted with iwi.
Tabut said she told the children they could pursue another subject if they wanted but they were adamant on this topic. On Tuesday, they jumped on a bus and headed to council.
"I don't know if they understand how special that was. They were so super excited that they were there but I don't think they realise that not many people get to do that," Talbut said.
"I think it's very significant. It gives them a sense of ownership and a sense of pride in their own area. It's them representing their school. By having this achieved, if it manifests, they are going to be able to tell their children and their children's children that they were part of all of this. They become kaitiaki of that park because it's so significant to them."
"They've also learned that kids can do anything if they can follow the process.
"They have a voice."