More than 180 submissions have been received in the first month of consultation on an iwi bid to change the name of National Park village and railway station in the central North Island.
The iwi Uenuku and the central North Island iwi collective Te Korowai o Wainuiārua have called for the tourist village and its railway station to revert to the historic name Waimarino.
Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa New Zealand Geographic Board supported the name change proposal and opened a three-month public consultation period on 7 November.
Geographic Board secretary Wendy Shaw said up to 8 December, 138 submissions had been received on the proposal to change the name of National Park to Waimarino.
It had also received 44 submissions on the proposal to change the name of National Park Station to Waimarino Railway Station.
Uenuku said Waimarino Pā was originally located on the site currently referred to as National Park village.
Waimarino was the name of the village and railway station until 1926 when the station was renamed National Park Station by NZ Railways after a request from Waimarino County Council.
It is not known when the Geographic Board approved changing the name of the Waimarino settlement to National Park. In 1968, the council was still referring to Waimarino Village and in 1973 a LINZ map named the village as Waimarino.
In August, the Owhango-National Park Community Board agreed to support “in principle” the name-change and public consultation, and Ruapehu District Council voted unanimously to revoke a 1957 decision by the Waimarino County Council not to change the name of the National Park Railway Station back to Waimarino.
The Waimarino council was formed in 1902 and served the region until 1988 when the Waimarino District Council was established, operating until 1989 when the Ruapehu District Council formed.
Uenuku said letters of support for the name Waimarino had been received from Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand, Tongariro Taupō Conservation Board and Visit Ruapehu, and KiwiRail had already erected new signs at the station that read “Waimarino National Park”.
Consultation on the proposals closes 8 February 2024.
Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air