What To Call Manukau? Update


It will be at least March before we know what Manukau station will be called - and even then it may be later if there are public objections.

The station opens in February.

Don Grant, Chairman NZ Geographical Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa, tells AKT:

“The NZGB is aware of proposals that will be made by KiwiRail seeking to make official the names of ‘Manukau Railway Station’ and ‘Manukau Branch’.

These proposals have not yet been submitted to the NZGB but are expected shortly. It is understood that Auckland Transport and Auckland Council both support ‘Manukau Railway Station’ and ‘Manukau Branch’.

The next meeting of the NZGB is scheduled for early December 2011 and, despite a full agenda, the Chairperson has agreed to include these proposals for an initial decision by the NZGB.

Following that meeting, the public consultation on these proposed names (as set out in the NZGB Act 2008) would likely begin at the end of January 2012, thus avoiding the holiday period and allowing reasonable public input.

The minimum statutory consultation period is one month, so the earliest that a final decision could be made would be early March - if there are no public objections.

If objections are received, additional processes would be necessary that would result in a longer timeframe. However this all depends on the Board actually receiving the proposal in time for it to be considered at the December meeting.”

Earlier post

Anyone for Hayman Park Station? Or MIT?

The Geographical Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa meets shortly to choose the official name for what we have been calling the Manukau Train Station.

All is set for the new station to be operating from next February - but the Geographical Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa has the last say in what it will be called.

We went through the same debate with the Grafton train station which replaced Boston Rd station - called that because, well it’s in Boston Rd. It could have been the Mt Eden Jail stop.

The Geographical Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa had to choose between Khyber Pass and Grafton for the station name.

The Grafton Residents group insisted it should be called Grafton because Khyber Pass is not a suburb and train stations are named after suburbs.

Yes, true,Auckland train stations are never called after street names like Baldwin Ave, Sturges Road, Fruitvale Rd.

At the time Cameron Brewer as then Newmarket Business Chief submitted it shouild be Khyber Pass. The station is on the corner of Khyber Pass and Park Rd and the actual Grafton village opposite Auckland Hospital is a bit of a walk away.

“We respect that over the years the suburb of Grafton’s identity has been eroded away by the likes of motorways. However while we have a lot of sympathy for this disappearing suburb, we strongly believe the name of the station should reflect its actual geographical location nothing else. This station will sit right in the middle of Khyber Pass Road, a well known Auckland arterial road. What’s more, let’s not forget that it is replacing ‘Boston Road’ so there is a strong precedent to call the station after a road not a suburb. Very few Aucklanders standing on the corner of Khyber Pass Road and Park Road would tell you they are standing in Grafton.

The site of the new station is on the very far reaches of modern day Grafton. If the station was named Grafton it would not be a good geographical representation of where it is and would only confuse commuters. The most popular destination in Grafton was the Auckland Hospital, yet if visitors thought the Grafton station was the best option of getting to the hospital, they’d be disappointed when they got dropped off at the bottom of Park Road.

Grafton residents are using this naming exercise in an attempt to reclaim some suburban identity. That is to be commended. However this is not about what’s in the best interests for Grafton residents or Newmarket businesses. This should be about what’s in the best interests for rail commuters and we strongly believe ‘Khyber Pass’ most accurately describes the new station’s geographical location. We have every confidence the New Zealand Geographical Board will agree.”

The Geographical Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa went with Grafton.

Until the Board names Manukau - the station 5 minutes walk from the Manukau Westgate and also the site of the planned new Manukau Institute of Technology Tertiary campus- the new whatever station near Hayman Park can’t get any signs.

Manukau? The new station needs a name

I hope they stay with Manukau. Isn’t that what people will expect when they look to get a train there?

Got a better suggestion you want to submit to them?

The new Manukau underground station

The most incorrectly station is Mt Eden. I grimace everytime an out of towner or stranger to the area gets off and discovers it’s a long walk to the actual Mt Eden village.




  1. Jon R says:

    How about:

    Manukau Centre


    Len Brown

  2. Pete says:

    Spot on article!
    Any noddy who is part of the mouthful “The Geographical Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa” is a given to lack commonsense.

  3. Matt L says:

    What a load of drivel that submission from Cameron Brewer was on the naming of Grafton, I’m glad the geographic board ignored it.

    As for the new station, it should just be called Manukau.

    Pete - the fact they went with Grafton rather than Khyber Pass shows they at least have some level of commonsense.

  4. Pete says:

    Matt - I’ll concede Grafton was the best choice…maybe a better quality gin & tonic was served that occasion?

  5. tbird says:

    It should be Mhanukau, with an H.

  6. Nick R says:

    Manukau, why not?!

    Mt Eden should be called either Mt Eden Rd or Eden Terrace.

  7. James Pole says:

    I think Cameron’s letter has some merit. To this day I still struggle to think of the area surrounding the so-called Grafton station as Grafton. But I suppose Grafton is “close” enough and it does follow the rule that stations should be named after the suburb it serves.

    As for Mount Eden — it should be renamed Eden Terrace as that name would better reflect the area it is in.

    There are also a few other stations with horrible names — e.g. Fruitvale Road should be named Kelston as it is the main station for those passengers who start/end their journey in Kelston.

    And, back on topic(!), I would go with just simply Manukau. I would be surprised if the Board decided otherwise.

  8. MrV says:

    Be interesting to see how long it takes to make a simple decision over a name. No wonder it takes so long for public transport initiatives to get off the ground.

  9. Owen Thompson says:

    Incredible that the name is not blindingly obvious. It is in Manukau & should be named such.

  10. Patrick R says:

    Well I for one think we are far too prosaic with our station names. Khyber Pass is not only more accurate but also a hell of a lot more poetic. ‘Angel of Islington’ now there’s a name. I’m for a bit of romance where ever we can get it. Also there is the possibility of another line and a station in Grafton proper in the long term, so I would have kept that for the real thing.

    However I’m assuming the Manukau name will be a formality. Agree that Fruitvale is pretty ghastly, sounds bogus and made up. Not so troubled by Mt Eden, and not sure that Eden Tce is much of an improvement, still open to suggestions. Names are important, Britomart is good, and looking ahead pleased about Aotea over Midtown or similar. Quite taken by Tank Farm over Wynyard, however Guant St is pretty evocative.

    Over time a newish or obscure name will come to define an area. My pick is that Aotea will become so busy that that centre city area will start being called that, as Britomart has for its area. K’rd, Parnell, and Newton are probably the only options. Parnell being closer than the Museum, and the station is not really in the Domain, and that’s a boring name anyhow. Parnell is OK, great to honour the founder of the 8 hour day….

  11. Finn says:

    Notice how all the stations named after roads are all on the Western line…

  12. max says:

    Manukau, or Manukau Central. Should be easy.

    Grafton a “disappearing suburb”? Cameron, my a**. Been the “mayor” of Newmarket a bit too long, eh?

  13. James says:

    Manukau or Manukau Central/City no other name would fit the area. Someone suggested Southern Station to me, I said No there are way more Southern Stations!

  14. Charles says:

    The Geographical Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa needs to advise Auckland Council / Transport that they needs to find an alternative name for the proposed “Newton” station.

    This area has never been know as Newton. The nearest Post Office (now the Squid bar) was “Symonds St”, the nearest library (now Galbraiths) was “Grafton”. The Newton Post Shop is located on the corner of Karangahape Road and East Street, virtually next to the proposed Karangahape station. Newton is an inappropriate name for a station in this location.

  15. Owen Thompson says:

    There is no longer a Manukau City, so please not that.

  16. DanC says:

    Manukau. Makes sense!

  17. Patrick R says:

    Charles, yes I thought about that too, but what do we then end up with? Symonds St Station? Dull and just as inaccurate. How about ‘The French’ as in the nearby celebrated restaurant, I can’t see that going down well with some. Basque Park? That’s close. Errrr? Watertank?… Mt Eden, well you can see it from there, oh but that’s already taken…. Anyone know an earlier Maori or colonial name for the place?

    Newton is plain and a bit generic, well I guess that suits an area that has had its identity and ‘place-ness’ degraded by being used as a traffic sewer.

  18. Nick R says:

    By my reckoning the old Newton ceased to exist once it was eviscerated and otherwise demolished to have the central motorway junction built on top of it.

    The northern exclave has since taken on the unique identity of ‘K Rd’ (is this formal in any way?), so why don’t we formalise the separation of Newton from K Rd and shift it’s legal definition to the upper Symonds St area?

    For two years I lived in an apartment a block away from the proposed station, and for two years I didn’t know what to call my suburb! I used “Upper Symonds Street” but that is hardly a name for a suburb or a station.

  19. Nick R says:

    Further to the above, I say lets call the Upper Symonds Street Station ‘Newton’ to firmly establish the area around it as the suburb of ‘Newton’.

    It happened with Britomart, prior to 2003 ‘Britomart’ had lost all relevance except as the name of a small lane. Since the new station was called Britomart the whole precinct around it has taken on the name in common usage.
    We created a name for an area that didn’t really have one with Britomart Station, so let’s do the same with Newton Station too!

  20. ingolfson says:

    “is this formal in any way?”

    Suburb names in Auckland are not formal - there’s no clear distinction / boundaries etc… There’s just competing local usage, post office usage, Google Maps… but no official definitions. The closest we currently have to official boundary definitions are local board areas, but those are obviously a lot larger.

    Newton is perfectly reasonable name for the suburb / new train station. Yes I know that some of what used to be called Newton is scattered litterally to the three winds by Spaghetti Junction, but there’s a case for a relatively coherent (if scarred by traffic routes, as others noted) future “Newton” located south of the CMJ, bounded on the north and west by motorways, and south by the rail line.

  21. Owen Thompson says:

    The correct suburb name for any address is what the Council calls it. My mother lives in East Tamaki according to them, but she denies it, because of the negative implications.

    But you can’t just pick & choose your suburb name. A house advertised as being Ponsonby/ Grey Lynn by a real estate agent is obviously Grey Lynn.

  22. Harry McDonald says:

    The Angel Islington is named after a pub. That used to be very common in Britain; naming stations after the local pub.
    Why would you call it anything else other than Manukau? The Manukau City Council may no longer exist but Manukau certainly does!
    I agree with Mt. Eden being re-named Eden Terrace.

  23. Scott says:

    If anybody is unsure about suburb boundary they can use this tool for any address to find out what suburb it is in.


    Also gives the valuation and rates bill for any address.

  24. John Gilbert says:

    Whatever Manakau station is called PLEASE, PLEASE do stop calling your stations TRAIN STATIONS - that awful Americanism! Arrrggghhh!!

    As to the actual name, didn’t read somwehere that it is proposed at some future date to extend the railway further east? So that the present station needs to reflect that. Seems sensible simply to call it Manakau Central.

  25. Jon C says:

    @John Too late. The official signs point us in the direction of “train stations” and so that’s what everyone calls them.

  26. JC says:

    I have a strange feeling that this station will be named after the mayor.
    Len Brown Station……….???
    God I hope not

  27. ingolfson says:

    No, it won’t. We have no such stations anywhere in Auckland, and Len isn’t stupid, nor that self-serving.

  28. Patrick R says:

    Nick R, above, totally agree. The naming of Britomart station named the area and we can do the same with Newton.

  29. Carl says:

    the should call it the “1/2 line” station.

    because its a line that should have been tunnelled under the motorway all the way to botany and surrounding areas.

    or prehaps FAIL station….

    or maybe they should name it “SUPA Station” just like the stupid name giving to the shopping mall.

    on a serial note, Manukau Central sounds pretty good. but the central part could be written in Maori (I have no idea at the time of writing this what is, but would be interested to find out).

  30. Ken says:

    Wiri Station Road used to leave from Great South Road and head towards Wiri Station. Now this particular part of the road is signposted Manukau Station Road. Seems as though the name of the station has already been decided. Wiri Station Road still exists closer towards the site of the old station site.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>