The writer is from Miramar in Wellington; it’s not clear if this was a letter to the editor rejected by Stuff.  The issue was widely canvassed in 2017 and the names were rejected by the Community Boards at the time, with the general feeling that Main Road plus the town it runs though was enough. We think the present mayor contacted Joel Maxwell to stir it up again as a ‘present’ to Kapiti people for his departure from the mayoralty this year.

An unnecessary waste of money

By Shirley Hunt

I have written to some of the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) Councillors having just read of the terrible situation that was reported in Joel Maxwell’s article the Dominion Post on Saturday 7 May.

I was shocked to read that the New Zealand Transport Agency gave over $100,000 to KCDC to change the name of the highway to several Maori peoples’ names.*

  • Firstly, was that not a bribe?
  • Secondly, whose cash was it, taxpayers’ money?
  • Thirdly, why should such a main route have its name into several largely unknown names? 

State Highway says exactly what it has been.  Very important if you have to say where you are or where you expect to travel etc.

I have a huge issue with the Mayor’s stand as written in Joel Maxwell’s article on this.

What did Maori have to do with the Kapiti roads?

There were no roads in New Zealand prior to the arrival of Europeans. It was a stone-age culture without the wherewithal to build roads — no metal implements or other equipment.  The roads, culverts, bridges, tunnels etc. were constructed by settlers and their descendants through incredibly hard work, with skills and knowledge not previously known here.

It is odd to think that Maori names should be given when there were previously only foot tracks. Some places had no names at all. Much travel in these times was by boat. 

I feel incredibly proud of those who stood against this idea, particularly for reasons related to the $100,000. It is a blessing, to think that the majority views of your community were accepted.

I wish the people of Wellington would do similar. We will look back one day to see how ignorant we have been. 

It was Ngati Toa apparently who renamed Transmission Gully highway, but they 

  • didn’t originally belong to Wellington at all 
  • didn’t build the roads
  • pay for them or anything else.

Where is the justice in all of this?

 * The seven proposed names for separate sections were: Matene Te Whiwhi Rd, Katu Rd, Unaiki Rd, Kakakura Rd, Rauoterangi Rd, Hurumutu Rd, and Hokowhitu Rd. Amohia Street and Rimutaka Street in Paraparaumu already have Maori names, so this would have made nine in total.