Four proposed Maori te reo names for City Rail Link stations

City Rail Link, in partnership with Auckland Transport, has announced proposed te reo Maori names for stations. Video / City Rail Link Ltd

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

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

The ingoa (names) were offered 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.

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

The final rendering of the Karanga station design in Hape (Karangahape).  Photo / Provided
The final rendering of the Karanga station design in Hape (Karangahape). Photo / Provided

Maungawhau (Mt Eden) and Waitematā (Britomart) stations are existing stations which 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 recognized the unique cultural and historical heritage of Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland.

“We are honored to have received these ngā ingoa tuku iho (traditional names) through our Mana Whenua Forum as well as invaluable Maori mātauranga (knowledge) throughout the project.

“CRL’s eyes are firmly set on building a world-class railway for Auckland’s future, but the names anchor us in the past and the story of the first to name the land the stations occupy their house.”

A design rendering of the City Rail Link's Maungawhau (Mt Eden) station.  Photo / Provided
A design rendering of the City Rail Link’s Maungawhau (Mt Eden) station. Photo / Provided

The CRL’s Mana Whenua forum said the process was to restore the traditional names of the areas served by the stations and return to a time before concrete and skyscrapers, when people lived off the land.

“When we bring back a traditional name, like Maungawhau, it provides a sense of place.”

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

A design rendering of Te Wai Horotiu Station (Aotea).  Photo / Provided
A design rendering of Te Wai Horotiu Station (Aotea). Photo / Provided

“The stations will be unique, emphasizing Maori culture and heritage, which is our point of difference in the world. It will tell us as Aucklanders what happened at these sites and what they once looked like.

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

Proposed names for City Rail Link stations: their meanings

CRL indicates that the name Maungawhau is an acknowledgment of the nearby dormant volcano Maungawhau/Mt Eden. Maungawhau (whau mountain) takes its name from the whau tree growing on its slopes which was an important resource for the Maori.

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

Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) is the name of the station area’s most prominent geographical feature, Wai Horotiu, the stream that flows under nearby Queen Street. This name reflects the link between the past when the creek provided a service to local people and the station will provide transportation service.

Waitematā (Britomart) mirrors the nearby port of Waitematā. The resort is built on land reclaimed from the harbor near where the waters of the harbor and Wai Horotiu merged.

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

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

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