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Names needed for open spaces

Published: 28 June 2016

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Names sought for parks and bridges at Waterview

Parky McParkface isn’t on the list of options for naming seven realigned parks, open spaces and new bridges created as part of the SH20 Waterview Connection, but Auckland Council is putting forward a well-considered shortlist for input from local residents.

The naming of new and altered structures that will become an integral part of the local landscape isn’t something that should be taken lightly, according to the chairs of Albert-Eden and Whau local boards, which are both affected by the changes.

“Prior to the NZTA building the Waterview Connection, the Alan Wood corridor was made up of a number of open spaces accessible to the public. This has substantially changed due to the tunnel project, the realignment of Te Auaunga – Oakley Creek and the acquisition of additional land,” says Whau Local Board Chair Catherine Farmer.

“Given these changes to the area, both local boards have agreed a formal consultation and naming process should be undertaken in preparation for the handover of the corridor at the end of the NZTA project,” says Albert-Eden Local Board Chair Peter Haynes.

The Whau Local Board has chosen to retain the name of Valonia Reserve, but the names of seven park areas and bridges are under review or need to have names formalised.

View the seven areas on a map

Alan Wood Reserve

The reserve was named after Alan Wood who served as a councillor on the Mt Albert and Auckland City Councils for 24 years from 1968. He passed away in 2004.

The first option is to retain the current name, Alan Wood Reserve.

A second option is Tuna Roa Park, meaning “long eel” and referring to the shape of the park being similar to that of the long finned eel. The long finned eel is protected, can live up to 100 years and is found in Te Auaunga - Oakley Creek which runs through the park. Six hundred short finned and long finned eels have been moved from the old to the new sections of the creek as part of the motorway project.

The third option for this reserve is Te Kauhanga-ā-rehia - Alan Wood Reserve, with the first part of the name referring to the recreational corridor. Kauhanga is the name for an open corridor like this park and rehia is how it is used - being recreation, enjoyment and amusement for walking, play or pleasure.

Near Valonia Reserve

The open space between the motorway and Te Auaunga-Oakley Creek in the vicinity of Valonia Reserve has the same options as for Alan Wood Reserve. Each area has the option of having the same name or different names for the adjoining areas. For example, both spaces could collectively be called Alan Wood Reserve, Tuna Roa Park or Te Kauhanga-ā-rehia - Alan Wood Reserve, or each space could be named separately.

Hendon Park

The area known informally as Hendon Park but officially still unnamed, includes the Richardson Road wetland. One option for naming this park is to formalise the Hendon Park title, which refers to nearby Hendon Road. The alternative is Kūkūwai Park, which means “to hold water” and refers to the wetland there. The name acknowledges the history of the area as part of Rakataura’s wetland. Rakataura is a tupuna from the area.

Hendon Bridge

There is a large shared path bridge built across SH20 that is currently referred to as the “Hendon Bridge” (Bridge 1).  NZTA has advised that for operational purposes it will continue to use the name Hendon Bridge but is happy for an additional name to be considered by the community for this bridge.

Options for the bridge’s name include Tuna Roa Bridge, the earlier-mentioned long eel reference to the shape of the park being similar to that of the long finned eel; and Te Whitinga, meaning “the crossing” and referring to the high cycle and pedestrian bridge rising above and over the motorway providing safe passage between two areas of park.

New bridges two, three and four

Three new pedestrian bridges are to be constructed across Te Auaunga - Oakley Creek. They include a portion of “public art” that forms the bridge rails. The artists Marc Lenton and Henriata Nicholas designed these to provide a narrative to the stream and put forward the concepts of water, basalt formations and movement to be considered in the naming process.

Bridge 2 extends from the access way at 108 Methuen Road, where the current tunnel viewing platform is located, across to the shared path. Options for naming include Mokomoko Bridge, after the native copper skinks found in this area; or  Ngā Toka Karā a Moko Bridge, based on the artists’ concepts of volcanic basalt rocks imbued with the mauri of Rūaumoko, the youngest of Rangi-nui and Papatūānuku’s children, responsible for earthquakes and volcanoes.

Bridge 3 from Valonia Reserve sports fields to the path that surrounds the large stormwater pond that meets with the shared path, could soon be known as Valonia Bridge (referring to nearby Valonia Street) or as Raupō Bridge, after the bulrushes commonly found in wetlands. Bulrushes formed a natural habitat for fauna and flora and were historically used for poi, as well as thatching homes and rafts.

Naming options for Bridge 4 from the access way off 174 Methuen Road across to the shared path include Methuen Bridge (after Methuen Road) or Tuna Roa (long eel) Bridge, again referring to the shape of the park being similar to that of the protected, long finned eel.

The short list of proposed names for these reserve areas and bridges has been developed in consultation with local board members, three key mana whenua from the area (Ngāti Whātua Orākei, Te Kawerau-a-Maki and Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki), Te Waka Angamua, the bridge artists, Friends of Oakley Creek Te Auaunga and the Star Mills Preservation Society.

Have your say…

Local residents are invited to visit www.shapeauckland.co.nz and read the consultation documentation before providing feedback online. Submissions close on Wednesday 13 July 2016.