The South Ridge of Aoraki/Mount Cook is to be renamed Hillary Ridge in honour of Sir Edmund Hillary.
Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson today confirmed a recommendation by the New Zealand Geographic Board to alter the name.
''Sir Edmund made an enormous contribution to our country and abroad and it is befitting and appropriate that his contribution is acknowledged in this way.''
Sir Edmund had a personal association with South Ridge which began when he was one of a party of four to make the first successful ascent in February 1948.
The three other climbers were guides Harry Ayres and Mick Sullivan, and Ruth Adams.
Williamson said his decision to rename the geographic feature was made the greatest respect to the other climbers and their families.
Sir Edmund was an admired and respected climber and mountaineer, not only in New Zealand but in many other parts of the world, he said.
''Altering the name South Ridge to Hillary Ridge will further cement Sir Edmund's place in New Zealand's history.''
The Hillary Ridge name will become official on 18 August 2011 when gazetted by the Board.