No change to Auckland's Dominion Rd name

By Lincoln Tan, Tess Nichol

Alternative Chinese name will not be made official.
An art installation on Dominion Rd, which will not be changing to Duo Mei Lu.  Photo / Dean Purcell
An art installation on Dominion Rd, which will not be changing to Duo Mei Lu. Photo / Dean Purcell

One of Auckland's most iconic strips will not be given a new Chinese name, despite reports to the contrary, says the Dominion Rd Business Association.

Dominion Rd will not be renamed Duo Mei Lu, ("road with lots of beauty") it said yesterday.

Auckland's Dominion Road gets a beautiful new Chinese name

The alternative name was revealed over the weekend by the Balmoral Chinese Business Association at a ceremony to recognise top Chinese businesses in the area.

Dominion Rd Business Association manager Gary Holmes said a literal translation of "Dominion Rd" in Chinese means "Bad Luck Rd".

"We have many valued Chinese businesses along the full length of Dominion Rd and so I can appreciate the desire for this group to have a translation that doesn't offend their culture," Mr Holmes said.But he said there was no proposal to formally rename the 7km long road.

"We believe Dominion Rd is more accurately described as being Auckland's international precinct given the multitude of ethnicities - it's a bit like a world within a street."

Michael Xing, who works at Bun Hut on Dominion Rd, said he would be in favour of a name change because of the negative Chinese translation of Dominion Rd. "[Duo Mei Lu] is good. Now it's like, the road of beautiful and that's really nice."

He said he thought it could take a while for people to catch on to using a new name, but thought Duo Mei Lu would be popular among locals if the name were to change.

An Auckland Council report last year looked at labelling the suburb of Balmoral "Auckland's Chinatown", but it was met with opposition.

The name has been a topic of debate among Chinese shoppers and businesses on Dominion Rd and their non-Chinese counterparts.

An Auckland Council study into the precinct, Understanding the Role and Function of the Balmoral Shops, found non-Chinese customers supported the idea of it being called Auckland's Chinatown.

But Chinese shoppers were opposed to it, along with Chinese business owners.

Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley, who has done a study into the precinct, said a name change would confirm that it is Auckland's Chinatown destination.

"But it is hard to deny the fact that it operates like a Chinatown, with numerous Chinese businesses and the widespread use of Chinese language.

"The name option confirms it is a major destination for those wanting to experience things Chinese."

Read the Auckland Council study of Balmoral shops here:

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 22 Oct 2016 16:05:37 Processing Time: 417ms