Four te reo Māori names proposed for City Rail Link stations

Four te reo Māori names have been proposed for the Auckland City Rail Link stations.

Auckland Transport and the City Rail Link (CRL) said the proposed names acknowledged the history of the land and areas in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland that the stations would occupy.

The ingoa (names) were gifted by the City Rail Link’s Mana Whenua Forum, which consists of eight Tāmaki Makaurau iwi: Te Ākitai Waiohua, Te Kawerau a Maki, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāi Tai ki Tamaki, Ngāti Tamaoho, Ngāti Te Ata and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

The proposed names are Maungawhau (Mt Eden), Karanga a Hape (Karangahape), Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) and Waitematā (Britomart). Final design renders have also been released for three of the stations.

The Maungawhau (Mt Eden) and Waitematā (Britomart) stations are existing stations that are being redeveloped for the project while Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) and Karanga a Hape (Karangahape) are new stations.

CRL chief executive Dr Sean Sweeney said the names acknowledged the unique cultural and historic heritage of Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland.

“We are honoured to have been gifted these ngā ingoa tuku iho (traditional names) by our Mana Whenua Forum along with invaluable mātauranga (knowledge) Māori throughout the project.

“CRL’s eyes are set firmly on building a world class railway for Auckland’s future, but the names anchor us to the past and the history of the people first to call the land the stations occupy their home.”

The CRL’s Mana Whenua Forum said the process was about reinstating the traditional names of the areas the stations would serve and looking back to a time before concrete and skyscrapers when people lived off the land.

“When we reestablish a traditional name, for example Maungawhau, it offers a sense of place.”

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the stations’ names and designs were a celebration of the city’s past.

“The stations will be unique, emphasising Māori culture and heritage, which are our point of difference to the world. It will tell us, as Aucklanders, about what once happened on these sites and how they once looked.

“For visitors, it will help make their experience in Tāmaki Makaurau memorable and different from other places in the world which they have visited.”

Proposed names for City Rail Link stations: Their meanings

CRL says the name Maungawhau is an acknowledgment of the nearby dormant volcano Maungawhau/Mt Eden. Maungawhau (the mountain of the whau) is named for the whau tree growing on its slopes that were an important resource for Māori.

Karanga a Hape (Karangahape) can be translated to The Call of Hape and is a correction of the existing name, Karangahape. A kaitiaki (guardian) helped Hape cross the ocean and arrive in Aotearoa before the Tainui waka that had left him behind.

Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) is the name for the station area’s most significant geographic feature, Wai Horotiu, the stream flowing below nearby Queen St. This name reflects the link between the past when the stream provided a service to local people and the station will provide a service to transport.

Waitematā (Britomart) reflects the nearby Waitematā Harbour. The station is built on land reclaimed from the harbour close to where the waters of the harbour and Wai Horotiu merged.

CRL and Auckland Transport will submit a joint proposal to the country’s place naming authority the New Zealand Geographic Board, at the end of the month asking for the names to be adopted.

The public will be able to provide feedback on the names before a decision is made.

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