Te reo Māori names gifted to the Eastern Busway Te reo Māori names gifted to the Eastern Busway

Date: 10 July 2024

Auckland Transport (AT) is honoured to have been gifted te reo Māori names by mana whenua for the new bus stations and structures being built for the Eastern Busway.

The Eastern Busway will bring rapid public transport to East Auckland and as part of this, four new bus stations and three new structures are being built. These have been gifted te reo Māori names by local mana whenua Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki and Ngaati Whanaunga.

Zaelene Maxwell-Butler of Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki says “our partnership with AT has enabled us to revive ancient stories and restore the cultural identity to the local landscape through te reo Māori naming and mahi toi (artwork) design”.


When the 7km busway is completed it will span from Panmure to Botany and will have four new stations: Pakūranga in the town centre, Te Taha Wai near to Edgewater College and Shopping Centre, Koata by Riverhills Park, and Pōhatu in Burswood.

  • Te Taha Wai represents the water’s edge, the riverbanks of Te Wai o Taiki (Tāmaki River)
  • Koata speaks to the heart of Tī Rākau, the New Zealand native cabbage tree which is found in the Pakūranga area
  • Pōhatu stone or rocks. This references the outcrop of rocks in the Tāmaki estuary which Ngāi Tai legend acknowledges as the perished tūrehu and patupaiarehe peoples.​


  • Rā Hihi (sun’s rays) will be the name of the flyover being built above Reeves Road in Pakūranga. It will improve traffic flow and reduce congestion, playing a crucial role in the Eastern Busway’s success in providing quick and reliable travel, and is planned to open in 2026.
  • Tī Rākau will be the name of the new bridge that will sit next to Tī Rākau Drive. Rākau (tree) is also a traditional Māori stick game.
  • Taupaepae (to meet or escort your visitors) will be the name of the bridge joining Tī Rākau Drive and Burswood. It represents the manaakitanga of Auckland Transport safely guiding and transporting the community along the bridge. Paepae is the horizon.

AT’s Director of Infrastructure and Place, Murray Burt says the names hold historic significance for the area and are reflective of how important the Eastern Busway will be to the community.

“The Eastern Busway is a hugely significant project for this part of Auckland and it’s an honour to have been gifted these names which tell the story of the area we’re serving.

“We expect 18,000 people will be travelling through these bus stations every day after the Eastern Busway is complete. Rā Hihi, Tī Rākau and Taupaepae will be real assets to East Auckland. These are names the community will soon become very familiar with as progress on the Eastern Busway continues and they are able to enjoy quicker, easier journeys.”

Already, public transport users, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are benefitting from the first stage of the Eastern Busway between Panmure and Pakūranga, which opened in December 2021, Mr Burt says.

“The buses using this corridor have carried more than 8.5 million passenger trips since then, and that number is going to grow even faster as we connect more of East Auckland to good, fast, reliable public transport.”