Māori names in Commercial Bay

11 September 2023

Learn the Te Reo names in Commercial Bay

This week marks the beginning of Māori language week and we’d like to celebrate by highlighting some of the Māori names throughout Commercial Bay.

For this project, we worked closely with Mana Whenua groups, who were integral in the naming and design of Commercial Bay’s laneways and artworks. The Te Aranga Māori design principles provided key guidance during the design process.

The four main entrances into Commercial Bay are named after four of Tamaki Mākaurau’s major moana and reflect the direction of each:

  • Waitematā - Northern entry on Quay Street
  • Tīkapa - Eastern entry on Queen Street
  • Manukau - Southern entry on Customs Street
  • Kaipara - Western entry on Lower Albert Street

The east-west laneway, was gifted the name Wheriko by Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua, representing the union of these four waters and the reflection of light off the water.

On the eastern side, the Civic steps were gifted the name Te Reo Pōwhiri by Mana Whenua which reflects the importance of the traditional processes of welcoming visiting groups. This name contributes a uniquely Māori element to this section of Commercial Bay with reference to the open, hospitable and welcoming nature of Māori and New Zealand cultures. This name marks the primary entrance connecting with Te Komititanga – the public square in the centre of downtown Auckland.

We encourage you to use these Māori names next time you’re meeting people at Commercial Bay.