The New Zealand Geographic Board’s project to research and collect the stories behind New Zealand’s First World War place names.
New Zealand’s experience at home and abroad during the First World War left an indelible impression on the country’s collective consciousness, and significantly influenced the development of our national identity.
Over the past century New Zealanders have ensured that the memories of that time are not forgotten, commemorating those sacrifices through memorials and events the length and breadth of the country.
This has included naming places after people and events associated with the First World War.
Place names are an important part of who we are – important landmarks of the history, culture and identity of our nation and the communities within it.
To mark the centenary of the First World War, the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) have embarked on a project to publish the stories for 30 WW1 place names, and approve 16 of these place names as official.
A further First World War place name Passchendaele Ridge was put out for public consultation for one month.
The public is invited to participate in this project by letting the NZGB know of any other existing First World War place names it may have missed. The NZGB will then research and consider making official any other existing First World War names received from the public. To contact the NZGB, please email us or write to the Secretary of the New Zealand Geographic Board, c/o Land Information New Zealand, PO Box 5501, Wellington 6145.
Visit the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) website for information about these names and place naming in general.
Images below from Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara O te Kāwanatanga (CC-BY-SA 2.0), New Zealand Defence Force - Te Ope Kaatua o Aotearoa (CC-BY 2.0). From State Library of Victoria, out of copyright.