On Friday City Rail Link released the final designs for stations as well as the formal names for the stations
City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd), in partnership with Auckland Transport (AT), has announced details of the proposed te reo Māori names for City Rail Link (CRL) stations.
The station names are: Maungawhau (Mt Eden), Karanga a Hape (Karangahape), Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) and Waitematā (Britomart).
Details of the names coincides with the release by CRL Ltd of the striking final design renders (drawings) for the Maungawhau, Karanga a Hape and Te Wai Horotiu Stations. The names and renders together celebrate the project’s strong links to mana whenua history and storytelling and more accurately reflect the stations’ geographic locations.
“The names and the designs are important developments for the city and acknowledge the unique cultural and historic heritage of Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland,” says Dr Sean Sweeney, CRL Ltd’s Chief Executive.
The names were gifted by CRL Ltd’s Mana Whenua Forum and honour the long-standing partnership the Forum’s eight iwi have had with CRL since day one of the project in 2012.
“We are honoured to have been gifted these ngā ingoa tuku iho (traditional names) by our Mana Whenua Forum along with invaluable mātauranga (knowledge) Māori throughout the project,” Dr Sweeney says.
The names aren’t new to these stations as we first heard them suggested back in 2018 with the only change being Te Wai Horotiu, which was originally suggested as just Horotiu.
Looking at each of the stations, South to North
I like the name change to Maungawhau, both for its acknowledgment of the mountain but also to differentiate the station from the Mt Eden village which is over 1.5km away.
On the final image, CRL say:
The station’s entrance wall is patterned precast concrete from floor to ceiling with basalt inserts. The giant wall design references the atua (deity) Mataoho, the creator of the basalt volcanic field here in Tāmaki Makaurau. The 53 lava-coloured, cast glass triangles are organised to represent a map of these volcanic cones.
The large main triangle is created from Maungawhau basalt and has water flowing over the surface of this section of the wall. This references Maungawhau, the basalt caverns, caves and water springs below ground. It pays respect to Parawhenuamea (atua of freshwater) and how freshwater needs kōhatu (rock) to flow. This narrative will continue with the designs on the paved area.
This image is also the biggest change from what seen in the past (below) with the feature wall changing but also an additional escalator being added.
The name ‘Karanga a Hape’ is a grammatical correction of the current Karangahape though I suspect many people will still just refer to it as K Road.
The Mercury Lane Entrance
Again, the internal artwork is where there appears to have been the most change with the representations Pupurangi shells (Kauri snail) replacing the scalloped voids of the previous design.
The Beresford Square Entrance
We haven’t had good quality images of the Beresford Square entrance before as it was only after the last images were released (in 2018) that the station was future proofed for 9-car trains which included building the entrance.
The platform level looks the corridors of a ship in a sci-fi movie.
Te Wai Horotiu is expected to become the busiest in the city once it opens.
I’m fairly sure the Waihorotiu Stream starts up in Myers Park rather than Albert Park, though there was a tributary from there.
Wellesley St entrance
The station design seems to be largely unchanged from previous plans with the exception of the blue panelling on the outside which has been added to all stations. As with the other stations, it could also do with some more street trees.
Victoria St Entrance
Like with the Wellesley St entrance, the Victoria St one looks largely similar to what we’ve seen before. One aspect that does seem to be missing (from previous designs too) is a canopy over the exit. It may just be the way it’s shown in the image, as it’s not the focus, but with the Linear Park development there should only be one lane each way for cars.
Platform and Concourse
Again, these designs are fairly similar to what we’ve seen before.
I suspect this is the name that is likely to get the most push back, in large part because Britomart is now a well-established name for the station and surrounding area.
For the names, CRL Ltd and AT will submit a joint proposal to the New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) asking it to adopt the names.
New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa is the national place naming authority responsible for adopting official place names. It is also the correct authority to name New Zealand’s train stations. Auckland Transport and CRLL Ltd will submit a joint request to the NZGB in late May 2022..
The Board will consider the proposed names in mid-2022 and if the proposal is accepted they are likely to carry out a public consultation. Anyone with views on the names can to submit their feedback through this channel.
Members of the public can find out more about the process on the Propose a place name section on their website.
On Friday I was also lucky enough to get a tour of the Te Wai Horotiu station. At this stage it’s still largely just a concrete shell and there’s still lots of work to go in digging it out. Here are a few images from that.