Row over Henderson station name

The new name of the Henderson Railway Station is likely to be a hybrid containing the title Waitakere Central. But the change will not be official, with Waitakere City Council saying it will not apply to the New Zealand Geographic Board to certify the alteration. It will be a change to signs only. The moves comes after the board declined the council's February proposal to rename the station Waitakere Central Railway Station. Public affairs manager Dai Bindoff says the council is negotiating with Ontrack, the rail line owners, and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, which objected to the initial proposal, on the new name. The new signs will be up by Labour Weekend. He says the name might be ''something like Henderson Railway Station with a subtitle Waitakere Central''. The council's initial proposal to the geographic board included changing a second station, Waitakere Railway Station, to Waitakere Village Railway Station. Geographic Board secretary Wendy Shaw says both proposals were refused on the grounds they had the potential to cause confusion for commuters and emergency services. She says the board also recognized the long history associated with the existing names and took into account objections from the Henderson Community Board, Ontrack, individual objectors and the transport authority. Ontrack and the authority rejected the proposal, saying they wanted to preserve the long-term identity and history of the names and it could cause confusion for emergency services, commuters and operating procedures. Waitakere's Mayor Bob Harvey says the city not the board should decide names. ''They have no part in the 21st century. They are no better than the pest and weed control board the government got rid of 20 years ago.

I think they should be sacked.'' The eight-member board is the national naming authority for New Zealand and railway station names have been included in its jurisdiction since 1946. Community Board chairwoman Elizabeth Grimmer says the group objected to the initial proposal on the grounds of Henderson's historical significance. ''We felt that Henderson was the destination and Waitakere Central was a place at Henderson,'' she says. - By Kylie Munro

- The Aucklander

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