Wellington City Councillors have ruled Salt Water Lane is an inappropriate street name so they have changed it to the Maori word for the same thing, Waitai Lane.

It follows a stoush between the council and developer Jarden Corporation as to whether The Promontory and Salt Water Lane are suitable private street names for a multimillion dollar Newlands development.

Council officers had recommended Pukehui Cres and Waitai Lane were a better option and the regulatory process committee met yesterday to settle the matter.

Committee chairman Malcolm Sparrow said The Promontory did not comply with the Land Information NZ Road Standard and Salt Water Lane was inappropriate for the area.

"It is out of place for a street name like this up in the hills, it's not near the seas or a stream or a tidal wetland."

Instead he suggested Promontory Cres and Waitai Lane, the Maori word for seawater.

But councillor Diane Calvert questioned how that was any different.

"It's still got the same meaning so if we're happy to have the Maori name for it, then we should be happy to have the name the developers put forward."

In the end Sparrow's suggestion was passed with his casting vote.

He said the move meant the number of Maori street names in Newlands would be doubled.

"If Salt Water Lane had been a more appropriate name for the area, then we might have looked at it more favourably," Sparrow said.