Baby born in cop's driveway gets speedy name

By Kayla Dalrymple of the Gisborne Herald

Hera Dawn Chaffey and her speedy baby Te Uira Teremana Van-Lee Chaffey receive a cuddle from birthday boy and proud older brother Taiariki Chaffey. Photo / Paul Rickard
Hera Dawn Chaffey and her speedy baby Te Uira Teremana Van-Lee Chaffey receive a cuddle from birthday boy and proud older brother Taiariki Chaffey. Photo / Paul Rickard

A baby born in a van in the driveway of the Tokomaru Bay police station has been named a week after his lightning-fast birth.

Te Uira Teremana Van-Lee Chaffey, a healthy seven pound three ounce baby boy, set some kind of delivery speed record on the East Coast last week.

Te Uira means 'the lightning' in Maori. The rest of his name has family significance.

Mother Hera Dawn Chaffey realised she was in labour while staying at her mother's Waima house.

The pair began to race to Te Puia Springs Hospital but Ms Chaffey quickly realised there was not enough time.

The closest thing to a hospital was the Tokomaru Bay police station, where Ms Chaffey's uncle, Constable Brian Leach, lives.

"I could feel his head when we were driving, so mum took me to the police station.

"Brian was awesome - he started directing people and pushed the seat back in the van so I could lie down," said Ms Hera.

Instead of lying down, Ms Chaffey stood up in the van. She put her head out of the sun roof and guided Te Uira down into a waiting towel held by Mr Leach.

All of this happened in 10 to 15 minutes.

A week ago after the dramatic arrival, Ms Chaffey said the family had not yet decided on a name -"We are open to suggestions, maybe something speedy", she said.

She posted on her Facebook page requesting name ideas.

Gisborne Herald reporter Marino Harker-Smith thought she would add her suggestion - Uira. Translated, Uira means lightning.

"Lightning was a good meaning and he was very fast. We added Te which means 'the', to make it flow better," said Ms Chaffey.

Each component of the newborn's name has a strong family significance.

Teremana can be broken into two parts.

Tere translated from Maori means fast. Ms Chaffey's uncle's nickname was Bruce Tere.

Mana was taken from the Maori word for policeman, pirihimana.

"Because Uncle Brian delivered him, we wanted to include him in the name. But we did not want to call him policeman, so we combined it with Tere.

"We have another uncle who is called Teremana so there is a piece of three of his uncles in there."

Van-Lee also has a combined meaning.

"We liked the sound of Van and it has a simple meaning, as he was born in a van," she said,

Lee is another direct family tie. Mr Leach's wife Toni-Lea passed away last year and Ms Chaffey wanted to honour her.

Haapi Banks is the father of the baby. Lee is also a strong family middle name to the Banks.

Ms Chaffey said her new son is doing great and she cannot wait to reintroduce him to the man who delivered him.

"Te Uira is just awesome. Everybody is already waiting for his 21st birthday party - he will have the best story."

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