What's in a Name - Destination Gisborne

Destination Gisborne, East Coast, NZ

2001  Destination Gisborne 300x400   to 2021 . . . and counting . . .

The Original  'Destination Gisborne' design experience conceived 20 years ago . . .

and still relevant today . . . in 2021 / 2022 / 2023  / 2024 . . . 

- What’s in a Name? -

When choosing your 'destination' amongst all the 'destinations' on offer!

The following list has been compiled by R Sheldrake.©

Being an observer to the many, many changes that have been attempted over the years to re-brand and market this part of Aotearoa / New Zealand.

From the writer’s point of view this is not compiled as a negative, although it could possibly be interpreted as such, as many of the attempts from a professional marketing perspective are simply bizarre.

While others carry merit but have been pushed aside to fulfil a fresh new vision at the whim of the marketing personnel in charge at the time.

Then new people have been appointed and the cycle of change begins all over again.

At last count – 25+ names have passed through this city landscape,

leaving a fascinating trail of broken dreams and often unfulfilled promise.

By whatever name you know us - I hope you will come and enjoy your time here!



(Original Maori name for the area before arrival of European settlers)



(Maori: “The place where Kiwa - of the Takitimu waka - stood”)


Poverty Bay: 

(A reductive place name given by explorer Lt. James Cook)



(Original Maori name for the whole region translating to: the coast upon which the sun shines across the water)



(Is named after an early Colonial Secretary William Gisborne)


Gisborne District:  

(Council Government.)


East Coast:   

(Government Electoral boundary)


East Cape:   

(Alternative that also adds confusion)


Cradle of Maize:

(Unknown marketing branding - no doubt out of the horticulture sector, believed to have been in use pre 1980)



(1980’s marketing drive initiated by TE and Chopper Summersby, Orange Grove Motellier)


Endeavour Bay:  

(Government Electoral boundary)


Prosperity Bay: 

(Local Real Estate Agent attempt for change of Name.)


The Edge:    

(Marketing attempt. Unknown instigator 1990’s)


Chardonnay Capital of NZ: 

(Wine lovers’ endearment)


Destination Gisborne:

Initially conceived as a fresh New Millennium way to promote the city.

This also matched many other regions of NZ who were and are all branding with their point of reference - their name.

(A fresh 2000 / 2001 initiative to re-focus on the MAP destination: Gisborne)


Discover Gisborne:

(Possibly part of The Gisborne Herald - marketing)


The City of Rivers:   

(Gisborne was founded around the convergence of three rivers, Turanga, Waimata & Taruheru this became another marketing possibility as per: Three Rivers Medical)


Gissy or Gizzy:

(A popular term of endearment - sadly - bad grammar currently in use. 

Illiteration: Definition: n. An invented word which appears learned, sounds sophisticated, and is completely confusing.

v.intr. To use invented words in order to confuse others, and/or create the illusion of erudition.)


Out East:   

(Tourism Eastland’s highly confusing marketing attempt 2011 - as TVNZ1 Weather Reports were constantly using the name Out East in reference to East Coast Bays Auckland and also re Christchurch )



(Another failed marketing attempt - unbelievably this time with GDC endorsement - being part of the Chorus Gigatown competition.)


Activate Tairawhiti / GDC:

(Gisborne District Council - Activate Tairāwhiti was launched to lead local economic development and help Tairāwhiti businesses create more employment opportunities for the local people.

The agency was seen as a dedicated resource for all established businesses and startups, both based in the Gisborne-Tairāwhiti region and for ones looking to move here.)


Tairawhiti-Gisborne / Gisborne-Tairawhiti:

(Another...??? HUGE public divisive debate over name choice.

Today the Gisborne District Council and the Chamber of Commerce both reference Gisborne-Tairawhiti from their perspective, while

Trust Tairawhiti reference Tairawhiti-Gisborne from their perspective even including it in their Tourism branding which they do on behalf of the city district and GDC.)

So sad to see the division so openly in use and confusing from the two most influential powers that be in this region.)


Turanganui-A-Kiwa / Poverty Bay:

( GDC:  15/02/2019 NZ Geographic Board)


Trust Tairawhiti / ECT:    < October 2019 Most recent brand. 

Out with the old, in with the new. 

The former Eastland Community Trust economic development agency has transferred its name and branding into the new identity of

Trust Tairawhiti (TT). The change comes after confusion about the trust, which owns Eastland Group and operates Activate Tairawhiti.


Tairawhiti:  < JUNE 2020

In recent days, the one-word name of 'Tairawhiti' standing alone has been noticed -  with Gisborne having been silently dropped on occasions.


Currently as at 24 February 2021

While the world grapples with the menace of COVID-19 it seems unusual to suddenly drop the one name that remains constant on every map around the globe, the name Gisborne. 

Maybe one day in the future when life returns hopefully to some sort of balanced normality Gisborne will be re-introduced as part of the branding for the city.


From a practical perspective today in 2022 / 23  / 24

‘Destination Gisborne’

remains the most easily identifiable name for the city, this district, when reading a map or searching online. 

© Ray Sheldrake as Creative Director of CMS (Creative Marketing Strategies Ltd. in a former partnership with Marketing Director Ray Curle).

Ray Sheldrake's original layout for the Tabloid 'Destination Gisborne' the new look for a Gisborne 'tourism concept back in 2001' - for the Gisborne District . . .