People accused of bastardising the pronunciation of Kahutara could have been on the right path all along.

In a report prepared by South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples, she recounts a recent meeting with Kevin Bargh, a resident of Kahutara Rd, on the side of a road upon fixing a flat tyre.

"He explained his desire to have the spelling of Kahutara corrected to its original of Kahautara.

"Kevin has concluded after discussions with local iwi that Kahautara means hills formed by the wind (or similar) which refers to the local sand hills, whereas Kahutara refers to a female falcon's genitals," Mrs Staples said in her report, to be tabled at tomorrow's council meeting.


She said Kahautara would explain the common bastardised pronunciation of "kar-how-tra".

In response to an email sent by Mr Bargh, Land Information New Zealand confirms the name Kahutara had been recorded as Kahautara in early maps and plans. The original spelling is recorded in documents dating back to 1894.

It appears the name changed to Kahutara on the NZ Map Series 13 in 1960.

LINZ suggested Mr Bargh propose the name change to the New Zealand Geographic Board.

LINZ said because Kahutara was a populated place, support for the restoration would be needed from the community and council, "as emergency issues and addressing standards may arise due to a spelling alteration".

They also suggested support from the local tangata whenua to support the proposal.

Mr Bargh advised Mrs Staples he had support from iwi for the name change and is seeking support from SWDC.

Mr Bargh could not be reached for comment yesterday.