It was in 1902 that mayor Alexander Hatrick sparked controversy by trying to have an "h" inserted in Wanganui, and have the city revert to "the original Māori mode of spelling".

He didn't succeed and it took until December 2015 for the Whanganui spelling to be made official for the district by then Land Information Minister Louise Upston.

It has taken the Chronicle a wee while to adjust, too, but today (see the masthead above) we become the Whanganui Chronicle, reflecting the name of our wonderful district and the correct te reo Māori spelling.

It is only one letter, but after 162 years as the Wanganui Chronicle it is a big change for us, and we recognise it is a touchstone topic that has prompted strong argument.


Some people will not be happy with our change, and we respect that point of view.

But this is not a popularity contest. We have made our decision because we believe it is the right one.

We aren't here to tell people how to spell - correspondents and columnists can still use "Wanganui" if they wish, acknowledging Maurice Williamson's optional spelling decision for the city.

But to every government department, police, courts, health boards, every media outlet - indeed, to almost every organisation, business and body outside the district - this is Whanganui.

And we are delighted to say it is Whanganui now for the district's best, most up-to-date online and print news provider.

Mark Dawson