An iwi chairman has pressed his case to rename National Park Village to Waimarino, saying business concerns about having to rebrand might be misplaced.
Aiden Gilbert from Te Korowai o Wainuiārua told Breakfast they want National Park Village and National Park Railway Station renamed Waimarino, the original name of the station and — according to iwi researchers — the village.
Gilbert said Waimarino means calming waters.
He said the name spoke for the “volume of water coming from the mountain” in the area, or “more specifically”, the many rivers of Tongariro, Ruapehu, Waikato and Whanganui.
“When one sits amongst it all, it has a calming effect on you, except when it rains pretty heavily up here — then it’s just a raging torrent. So calming waters is the translation to Waimarino.”
The name National Park has been used to refer to the area for 100 years, but Gilbert said the Crown offering to return to former place names gave the iwi an opportunity for the area to reinstate its former name.
“This was apart of our tribunal [journey]… This required local body councils to turn an agreement to return to the original name.”
Although Gilbert was pressing for the name change, he said he could understand why some businesses who use the area’s current name could be hesitant about changing.
But he told Breakfast that changing the name back to Waimarino can be an “advantage” for businesses in the area.
“Sometimes [hearing] National Park, which National Park are we talking about? Tongariro, Whanganui National Park, or even down in the South Island, [using Waimarino] defines it.”
Gilbert said he was aware of another business in Tauranga using the Waimarino name, but suggested its multiple use wouldn’t be much of an issue.
“I don’t have issues with other people calling their son Aiden. The business is up in Tauranga, so it’s a long way from [Waimarino National Park].”
Gilbert said submissions on the change close tomorrow and they were expecting a result by the end of March.