War of words over new name

By Isaac Davison

A tussle has broken out over the naming of a new Auckland rail station as opposing sides fight for tradition, geographical accuracy and pride.

The new western line railway station on the corner of Khyber Pass Rd and Park Rd is due to open in March 2010 and will replace the Boston Rd station.

Rail authority Ontrack has put forward two naming options - Khyber Pass and Grafton - to the NZ Geographic Board.

The Newmarket Business Association backed the name Khyber Pass, and the Grafton Residents' Association supported its suburb name.

Grafton Residents' Association chairman David Haigh said the station should be called Grafton because stations were traditionally named after suburbs.

He also felt the title Khyber Pass did not narrow down a specific location, but covered at least two suburbs.

"I think Khyber Pass is not appropriate at all. It is not a suburb, it is part of a long road which goes from Newmarket right up to Newton, so it doesn't give you any clear indication as to where you are."

Newmarket Business Association spokesman Cameron Brewer said the station would be directly in the middle of Khyber Pass, and that Khyber Pass was a more accurate indicator of the location.

"If you dropped 100 Aucklanders off at the station and asked them where they were, only a handful would say Grafton."

Mr Haigh said the station was a short walk from the hospital and other popular sites which were associated with the suburb name Grafton.

But Mr Brewer believed it was more important for the name to guide visitors to the city, not Aucklanders.

The Geographic Board will settle the debate at the end of the month.

- NZ Herald

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