6 May 2022
CRL station names and designs reflect “unique” Auckland
City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd), in partnership with Auckland Transport (AT), has announced details of the proposed te reo Māori names for City Rail Link (CRL) stations.
The station names are: Maungawhau (Mt Eden), Karanga a Hape (Karangahape), Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) and Waitematā (Britomart).
Details of the names coincides with the release by CRL Ltd of the striking final design renders (drawings) for the Maungawhau, Karanga a Hape and Te Wai Horotiu Stations. The names and renders together celebrate the project’s strong links to mana whenua history and storytelling and more accurately reflect the stations’ geographic locations.
“The names and the designs are important developments for the city and acknowledge the unique cultural and historic heritage of Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland,” says Dr Sean Sweeney, CRL Ltd’s Chief Executive.
The names were gifted by CRL Ltd’s Mana Whenua Forum and honour the long-standing partnership the Forum’s eight iwi have had with CRL since day one of the project in 2012.
“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,” Dr Sweeney says.
“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.”
CRL Ltd and AT – which will run CRL when it opens – will submit a joint proposal to the New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB), the country’s place naming authority, asking it to adopt the names.
AT’s Chief Executive, Shane Ellison, says te reo Māori in public spaces is essential for a thriving Māori identity in Tāmaki Makaurau.
“In the last few years, we’ve seen the presence of te reo Māori on Auckland’s public transport network increase substantially – from onboard announcements on trains and buses to the new signage that is being installed across the city.
“The gifted station names continue AT’s commitment to ensuring te reo Māori is seen, heard, spoken and learned across our network and we’re thrilled to be part of that journey” Mr Ellison says.
The renders illustrate designs that are different for each station, reflecting their geographic location and their ties to mana whenua history and story-telling. The renders do not include CRL’s fourth station, Waitematā. When it reopened last year, the refurbished and heritage-listed Chief Post Office – the main entrance to Waitematā – included elements of tikanga (custom). Outside Waitematā, Auckland’s newest civic space – Te Komititanga – was designed by mana whenua artists and weavers, and their paving patterns represent moving waters.
“The process is about reinstating the traditional names of the areas the stations will serve – looking back to a time before concrete and skyscrapers when people lived off the land. When we re-establish a traditional name, for example Maungawhau, it offers a sense of place,” says CRL Ltd’s Mana Whenua Forum.
Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff, were among the guests present when the proposed names and the renders were released at the Te Wai Horotiu Station site.
Minister Wood says the stations will become cornerstones of a modern, vibrant, and connected city.
“Everyday tens of thousands of Aucklanders will use these stations. They will drive urban renewal including new housing, commercial activity, and cultural expression. They will also be beautiful public spaces that make Aucklanders proud to use public transport. The Government is committed to delivering a linked-up transport network that includes CRL, making it faster to move around the city, connecting communities, providing greater access to businesses, all while reducing congestion,” Mr Wood says.
Mayor Goff says the names and designs also celebrate 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,” Mr Goff says.
AT and CRL Ltd will submit their proposal for the te reo Māori names to the NZGB at the end of this month. People will have the chance to provide feedback before the NZGB makes its decision
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