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New Zealand Geographic Board facts for kids

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New Zealand Geographic Board
Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa
Agency overview
Formed 1946; 75 years ago (1946)
Preceding agency
  • Honorary Geographic Board of New Zealand
Jurisdiction New Zealand
Headquarters Radio New Zealand House, 155 The Terrace, Wellington
41°16′53″S 174°46′33″E / 41.281299°S 174.775862°E / -41.281299; 174.775862
Parent agency Land Information New Zealand

The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) (Māori: Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) is part of the New Zealand Geographic Board (Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008, and was previously part of the New Zealand Geographic Board Act 1946. Although an independent institution, it is responsible to the Minister for Land Information.

Prior to the Board being formed, an honorary Geographical Advisory Board, under the direction of the Minister of Land, had been set up in 1924. That Board had 7 members, including Herbert Williams, Elsdon Best and Johannes C. Andersen.

It has authority over geographical and hydrographic names within New Zealand and its territorial waters. This includes naming small urban settlements, localities, mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, harbours and natural features and may include researching local Māori names. In the Ross Sea region of Antarctica it has named many geographical features. It has no authority to alter street names, a local body responsibility, or the name of any country. The Board has authority over official placenames only, and most placenames, including most towns and cities, ports and bodies of water have not been mentioned in legislation or validated by treaties, and so are not official.

The New Zealand Geographic Board secretariat is part of Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and provides the Board with administrative and research assistance and advice.

Membership

Under the New Zealand Geographic Board (Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa) Act 2008, the Board comprises the Surveyor-General of New Zealand (appointed by LINZ) as Chair, the National Hydrographer (appointed by LINZ) and eight other members nominated by the Minister for Land Information. The ministerial appointees include two persons recommended by the Minister of Māori Development and representatives of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the New Zealand Geographical Society, the Federated Mountain Clubs of NZ, and Local Government New Zealand.

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