Both-and approach to Whanganui Wanganui

“Whanganui or Wanganui – it’s up to you
New Zealand Hearld Friday Dec 18, 2009

Wanganui can be spelled with or without an h, the Government ruled today.

The New Zealand Geographic Board decided this year that the spelling should be changed to the Maori version, Whanganui, but locals voted four to one against.

Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson today announced the official geographic name for the city of Wanganui could be either ‘Whanganui’ or ‘Wanganui’.

“My intention to assign alternative names for the city allows people to choose the name they prefer,” he said.

The compromise will avoid getting the Maori Party offside, while leaving opponents with the option of continuing with the h-less spelling.

Mr Williamson said local iwi wanted recognition and respect for their history and language.

“It was equally clear that the majority of the city’s residents did not want change forced on them,” he said. ”

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