Ngai Tahu will push on with an application to officially add the "h" to Wakatipu.
The iwi will begin to work through the process under the New Zealand Geographic Board in coming months.
Otakou Runaka representative Paulette Tamati-Elliffe, who is working on the name change, said the aim was to have the name recognised by wider New Zealand and restore mana to the original name, which "has always" been Whakatipu Waimaori.
Ngai Tahu dictionary Ka Huru Manu, recognised by the New Zealand Geographic Board, states on its website, "Whakatipu Waimaori is the correct spelling for Lake Wakatipu".
There are four official names in the New Zealand Gazetteer which include "h" in spelling Wakatipu — Te Awa Whakatipu (the Dart River), Tarahaka Whakatipu (Harris Saddle), Whakatipu Ka Tuka (Hollyford River) and Whakatipu Waitai (Lake McKerrow).
Wakatipu had been employed since early European days.
In 2020, Allied Press publication Mountain Scene reported Ngai Tahu elder Sir Tipene O'Regan signalled it was time for the spelling change.
Since then, town kaumatua Darren Rewi had spoken in Queenstown about the history of the name and had planned to make an application to the Geographic Board individually — with the support of Ngai Tahu — before the iwi decided recently it would handle the application.
Tamati-Elliffe acknowledged a spelling change would be a wide undertaking, but said it would be gradual.
"I think we could look at Whanganui or Wanganui as an example, some businesses may have chosen to stick with the spelling that they knew ... but in official documents the correct spelling needed to be used.
"We're not about telling businesses that they need to change the names, that's certainly not the intention, but again, it's about restoring the mana of that name."
While the potential backlash from the community was "always forefront ... because we're used to resistance of anything kai tahu, anything Maori", the iwi was conscious there was a younger generation which was "very courageous, open-minded and [have a] lot more awareness and understanding of the history of our country", she said.
Once the application was submitted, there would be a public consultation process, which could last about three months.
If there were objections the board could not uphold, Land Information Minister Damien O'Connor would make the final decision.
Tamati-Elliffe expected work on the application to begin in mid-to-late June.