One of Whanganui's famous artists is to have a street named after her.
A new street in the Tawhero development area will be Morrell St, named after Whanganui born artist Joan Morrell, after it was chosen by Whanganui district councillors over the iwi-preferred Te Repo St.
The developer's preferred options to use "Morrell" or "Magnolia Cres" were given to council, alongside "Te Repo" which was suggested by Te Runanga O Tupoho and supported by Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi.
A motion for the street to be named Te Repo St was put forward by councillor Josh Chandulal-Mackay.
"For me this is about the fact that as a council we have reached out to local iwi and asked for their feedback," he said.
"In my memory I don't recall many new streets in Whanganui developments receiving a Māori name and I think this is a way that we can honour the traditional custodians of that parcel of land."
In a letter supplied to councillors, Tupoho Kaiwhakahaere, John Maihi, said Te Repo directly referenced the area as a wetland or swampland area.
But councillor Rob Vinsen had a different interpretation of the word.
"Well aside from the fact that 're-po' has an unfortunate connotation doesn't it?
"Re-po means short for repossession and I don't know whether I would like to live in that street."
Vinsen said he strongly believed the developer should have the last say.
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"They've put millions into this development and I think that's an admirable choice of Joan Morrell.
"I can think of no better person in this city to honour than Joan."
Morrell has gained national and international recognition for her bronze sculptures in her lifetime, and has had work featured in galleries in Australia, England, Japan and the United States.
She was awarded the New Zealand Commemorative Medal in 1990 and the Queen's Service Medal in 1995, and lives in Whanganui.
Councillor Brent Crossan supported "Morrell St" and said the iwi recommendation could potentially be used as the subdivision grows.
Councillor Kate Joblin said the dilemma should be conveyed to iwi.
"While I personally would take very seriously a recommendation made to us from our local iwi, I think that it's in conflict almost with wanting to honour somebody that is a long-term, high achiever in this community," she said.
"On the one hand we would like to honour Mrs Morrell, on the other we would like to use the submission put to us."
Deputy mayor Jenny Duncan said she would want to see the name Morrell used on a more prominent street or road.
Mayor Hamish McDouall agreed with Duncan but said he didn't know when Whanganui would get a bigger street which would need naming.
The vote to name the new street Te Repo was lost with only Chandulal-Mackay, McDouall and Duncan voting in favour of it.
The motion for "Morrell St" to be used was carried with only Duncan and Chandulal-Mackay opposed.
Councillor Hadleigh Reid abstained from voting on both motions.