A proposal to officially name the Lake Ferry settlement has gained the support of South Wairarapa District Council.

Featherston man Perry Cameron wrote to council seeking support for his proposal to officially name the Lake Ferry settlement, after discovering it was not recognised on the Gazetteer, which holds all official names for features within the New Zealand Geographic Board's (NZGB) coverage.

At a council meeting on Wednesday, councillors unanimously agreed Lake Ferry township should be formally recognised but conversation was sparked over what the official name should actually be.

Councillor David Montgomerie, of the Greytown ward, said: "Mr Cameron is for an official name to be recorded, I would support the name Lake Ferry, but not Lake Ferry Settlement".


Martinborough ward councillor Brian Jephson said he "couldn't really see anyone addressing a letter Lake Ferry Settlement".

He said a lot of people mistook the lake itself for being called Lake Ferry instead of its correct name, Lake Onoke, and that the naming of the town should differentiate the two.

"But that needs to be made quite clear that Lake Ferry settlement or township, or what ever it gets called ... that Lake Onoke doesn't lose its identity.

"The point I want to get across is that Lake Onoke is not the Maori name for Lake Ferry like many people think is the case.

"The local iwi are keen to make that distinction between the two."

Mr Jephson said the name would ultimately be decided after local submissions and public consultation carried out through the NZGB were complete.

Mayor Adrienne Staples said council supported Mr Cameron's proposal and would refer it to the Maori Standing Committee.

Mr Cameron said that Lake Wairarapa and Lake Onoke were also not officially-recognised names and, as he understood it, local iwi were in consultations addressing this.


"I feel I have done my part by raising awareness that a lot of our features are not recognised," he said.

For a place to officially adopt a name, an application must be submitted to the NZGB, which will take into account the history of the place and views of affected people and groups.

Mr Cameron has prepared an application for the official naming of Lake Ferry settlement, which he will submit to the NZGB for consideration at their September meeting.

The naming would apply to about 50 residences. Mr Cameron had been in touch with residents, Department of Conservation and local iwi, and welcomed feedback.