Wellington City Council has backtracked on a name originally proposed for its new convention centre after an awkward double-up was discovered with a Lower Hutt café.
Those involved have gone to great lengths to make sure the same thing doesn't happen again with the new name Tākina, including a detailed clearance search by intellectual property lawyers.
Cato Brand Partners was selected to develop a name for Wellington's long-awaited Convention and Exhibition Centre site, where there are now spades in the ground.
A shortlist of names was developed by a working group and all parties unanimously agreed that Tūtaki, literally translated as "to encounter", was the preferred name.
Except it turned out a café attached to Lower Hutt's event centre was also called Tūtaki.
Wellington City Council paid more than $8,000 for Cato Brand Partners to get to that point, a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act has revealed.
A council paper recommending the name Tūtaki was abruptly pulled from an agenda for a meeting scheduled in March this year.
Wellington City Council's Naming Policy Māpihi Maurea states names should be unique and not duplicated in Wellington City and preferably not in the wider region for the same type of feature.
A new option from the shortlisted names Cato Brand Partners came up with has been chosen instead and will be put before councillors to sign off on later this week.
The name Tākina, meaning to invoke, has been developed in close collaboration with iwi partners.
The council paper recommending the name suggests those involved have gone to great lengths to ensure there are no potential conflicts with using the name, including a detailed clearance search completed by intellectual property lawyers.
The search highlighted risk around similarities with The Ākina Foundation trademark.
But the council has met with the foundation and secured a letter from its chief executive confirming its consent to the use of Tākina for the convention centre.
"Looking at other te reo Māori names, there are other minor uses of the word Tākina, but none which overlap in a building name, or in hospitality, convention or exhibition activity, and none with a legal right to use of Tākina", council documents said.
Māori Partnerships portfolio leader councillor Jill Day said it didn't seem like a good idea to push the name Tūtaki when there were other options.
"The challenge with Tūtaki out in Lower Hutt is that it is actually linked to their event centre. If it was Tūtaki café on the waterfront somewhere in Petone, that might have been different because it wouldn't have had such a similar link."
Day said Cato Brand Partners have done an excellent job in their work with mana whenua and the name Tākina was strong and memorable.
She said she could see how the double-up happened.
"I think people have learnt some things from this, but it is quite complicated when you're trying not to lead people too much and you want to make sure you go through a process, which is genuine and in partnership sometimes each person thinks the other one would have covered something off."
The convention centre is due to be completed in February 2023, after a slight delay to construction due to Covid-19.
All the ground works and piling have been completed and the base isolators largely installed.
The ground floor is being laid and Wellingtonians will soon be able to see its steel structure rising above the hoardings.