The name of the new park being developed at the Town Basin should show the significance of its site in the past, in the present and in the future, according to people in charge of the project.
Work behind the scenes on a project converting what was a major intersection, then became a temporary parking area, has included historical, archaeological and cultural conversations and reports about its significance.
Discussions with representatives of the hapu of the area, Te Parawhau and Ngati Kahu o Torongare, have covered its history and use in its earliest times, then history was gathered relating to European settlement and more recent times. These discussions included its complicated history of mana whenua and ownership through various reclamations, river diversions and land acquisition by different parties.
A process has been developed to ensure all these factors are taken into consideration when a final name for the park is decided.
The public was invited to put forward naming ideas for the park, along with explanations of the reasons behind the suggestions, and how they reflect the significance of the area. Call for suggestions closed on 17 March 2021.
Representatives from the Tangata Whenua of the area, and members of the project team will consider all the proposals and create a shortlist of five suitable names, along with explanations of their relevance.
A final name will be selected by Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai and all Councillors, who will each rank each name according to preference.