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City Rail Link offers four te reo Maori names for Auckland stations

City Rail Link and Auckland Transport want to give four te reo Māori ingoa (names) stations in honor of the city’s past.

The announcement comes as City Rail Link (CRL) releases design sketches for some of the new stations, in line with the mana whenua story.

CRL’s Mana Whenua forum offered the proposed names to the rail link. These are Maungawhau (Mt Eden), Karanga a Hape (Karangahape), Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) and Waitematā (Britomart).

Karanga station in Hape means

Auckland Transport/Provided

Karanga station in Hape means “the call of Hape”. Hape was a Tainui iwi ancestor who made his own way to Tāmaki Makaurau when his waka left him in Hawaiki.

The names will be submitted for approval by the New Zealand Geographic Board at the end of May.

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Members of the public can have their say before that.

Each of the names is strongly linked to the location of its station.

Karanga station in Hape – which is a correction of the misspelling Karangahape – means “the call of Hape”. Hape was a Tainui iwi ancestor who made his own way to Tāmaki Makaurau when his waka left him in Hawaiki.

Te Wai Horotiu station refers to the Wai Horotiu stream, which flows under Queen Street. Wai Horotiu has been covered by urbanization but its name has also been given to the Queen Street Transformation Project.

CRL Chief Executive Dr. Sean Sweeney said the names recognize Tāmaki Makaurau’s unique legacy.

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

The name of the Te Wai Horotiu station refers to the Wai Horotiu stream, the path of which flows under Queen Street.

Auckland Transport/Provided

The name of the Te Wai Horotiu station refers to the Wai Horotiu stream, the path of which flows under Queen Street.

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

The names and designs were revealed at the proposed site of Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) on May 6.

It is also proposed to rename Britomart Waitematā Station, to honor the land around the station which has been reclaimed from Waitematā Harbour.

The nearby maunga is the namesake of Maungawhau Station. Otherwise known as Mount Eden, Maungawhau is named after its whau trees.

Auckland Transport (AT) chief executive Shane Ellison said te reo Māori should be present in public spaces.

“Gifted Station Names continues AT’s commitment to ensuring te reo Māori is seen, heard, spoken and learned on our network and we are thrilled to be part of this journey.”

Transport Minister Michael Wood and Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff attended the announcement.

“The stations will be unique, emphasizing Maori culture and heritage, which is our point of difference in the world,” Goff said.

The nearby maunga is the namesake of Maungawhau resort - otherwise known as Mount Eden, Maungawhau is named after its iconic whau trees.

Auckland Transport/Provided

The nearby maunga is the namesake of Maungawhau resort – otherwise known as Mount Eden, Maungawhau is named after its iconic whau trees.

“It will tell us, as Aucklanders, what happened to 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.”

“The process is to restore the traditional names of the areas served by the stations – going back to a time before concrete and high-rise buildings where people lived off the land,” said CRL spokesperson Mana Whenua Forum.

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