Many of Auckland's volcanic cones, including those at the Domain and Mt Smart, have gained official Maori names under a Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

The cone on which Auckland War Memorial Museum stands has reverted to its pre-European name of Pukekawa, and Rarotonga/Mt Smart now refers to the hill above the sports stadium where the Warriors rugby league club is based.

They are among 18 maunga to have gained official Maori names under the Crown's Treaty settlement with the Tamaki Collective of 13 iwi.

The settlement vests 14 of the maunga in the collective, on condition they be held in trust for the common benefit of the iwi "and all other people of Auckland".


Most will be co-governed by the collective and Auckland Council, except for the North Head Historic Reserve, which is looked after by the Department of Conservation, and Rarotonga/Mt Smart, which will continue to be managed by the council's regional facilities arm.

Rarotonga, which is also the name of the Cook Islands' main island, is roughly translated as "down south". But the hill above North Head has had its Maori name of Maungauika reinstated.

The Hauraki Gulf has also been given an alternate name, Tikapa Moana, and Motuihe Island can be called either that or Te Motu-a-Ihenga.

Maori names already in use to refer to other prominent Auckland peaks, such as Maungawhau for Mt Eden and Maungakiekie for One Tree Hill, have also become official alternates under Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014. But difficulties resolving which of more than one Maori title should be used for Mt Albert and Mt Roskill mean they will retain their European names.

"We didn't want to [re-]start the musket wars over which Maori name would win the day," said Ngarimu Blair, one of two Ngati Whatua representatives on the new 13-member co-governance authority, which held its first monthly meeting last week.

"The mountains had more than one Maori name, so the Geographic Board would allow only two official names, one Maori and one European."

Asked why Motuihe was allowed two Maori names, he said that was because the first was simply a misspelling of the second, Te Motu-a-Ihenga.

Mr Blair said publication of the name changes came 12 years after Ngati Whatua started a discussion with the Crown.


"To have these names put back together with the more recent names is very important to our tribe and the other tribes, and to many Aucklanders, because they're the window to a past that we've all been robbed of, really, Maori and Pakeha", he told the Weekend Herald yesterday.

"These names are windows back to the people who lived there and the things they did, and we're all richer for it."

Residents of the former garrison town of Howick successfully objected to their ward of the new city being named Te Irirangi, after the principal Maori chief of the area in the early 19th century. Yet nearby Pigeon Mountain has been renamed Ohuiarangi/Pigeon Mountain with little apparent fuss.