Māori Library Names

The stories of the bilingual names for Christchurch City Libraries

All our libraries have bilingual names and many of these have a historical background and story (and a sound file to help with pronunciation):

Most of these stories are also available in booklet form as Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho: Christchurch City Libraries: the Legacy of Our Māori Names.

The following libraries have gone, many due to earthquake damage. Their names were:

Though all our libraries have Māori names, not all have had stories done.


E ngā mana, e ngā waka, e ngā hau e wha e te iwi whānui
Tēnā koutou
Piki mai, kake mai, nau mai, haere mai i Ngā Kete Wānanga o Ōtautahi
He mihi whānui atu tēnei na Ngā Kete Wānanga o Ōtautahi
Tēnā koutou katoa


The bilingual external names for Christchurch City Libraries were created in late 2003 as a result of bicultural signage undertaken in 2002 by the library’s marketing team.

With the support and approval of Ngāi Tahu through our Kaumatua, Dr Terry Ryan, and the extensive research undertaken by NekenekeiteRangi Paul, each library within our network has been honoured with a Māori name. These new names reflect the nature of the building, its location and the community it serves.


I want to acknowledge the legacy NekenekeiteRangi Paul and Dr Terry Ryan has bestowed on Christchurch City Libraries / Ngā Kete Wānanga o Ōtautahi. The unique bilingual names they have chosen for each of our libraries are names we can be proud of and they will forever be part of Christchurch City Libraries. Without the tremendous effort made by NekenekeiteRangi and the goodwill shown to the Library by Dr Terry Ryan this project would never have been completed.

E NekenekeiteRangi kōrua ko Dr Terry Ryan, tēnā korua mo ā kōrua mahi tino nui rawa mo tēnei kaupapa.

Haneta Pierce, Kaiwhakahaere Ratonga Māori, 2003

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