City Rail Link’s latest tunnel boring machine has been named Jeffie after a hugely popular CRL social media naming contest.
More than 30,000 people from as far away as the UK, USA, Europe, the Philippines and Afghanistan participated in the naming contest run in just under a week.
The most popular name by far was Jeff – but traditionally such machines have adopted a female name so Jeffie, a feminine version of the name will be used. Jeffie was a popular girls name in the early 1900s.
Naming digging equipment after women is said to be a tradition that dates to the 1500s when miners prayed to St. Barbara to keep them safe underground.
Thousands of people voted Jeff based on the popular meme “My Name is Jeff” which was a line used by the character Greg Jenko in the 2014 action comedy film 22 Jump Street.
Popular runners-up were Bora the Explorer and Bessie.
The tunnel boring machine will shortly begin work in Mt Eden to divert a section of an existing stormwater pipe in preparation for the redevelopment of the Mt Eden train station.
The contract was awarded to the March Bessac Joint Venture who were represented in the final naming decision.
The judges thank everyone who participated and said they were impressed with the number of excellent suggestions.