What do you think Nelson's iconic harbour rock should be called?
A Nelson Harbour landmark has been given back its former name of Arrow Rock - instead of the commonly used Fifeshire Rock - in a new public information panel.
In the original draft for the 2.2-metre panorama-style plaque installed on the waterfront yesterday submitted by designer Stefan Hanspach, the rock was named "Fifeshire Rock". But Nelson City Council had the name changed to "Arrow Rock" before the panel went up.
Council spokeswoman Nan Ward said "Fifeshire Rock" was a colloquial name only.
"Council opted to stay with the name originally given to the rock."
The new information panel features an image of the Western Ranges, reproduced in silhouette onto lacquer-coated aluminum.
From Gordon Range to Abel Head, each peak is clearly traced and labelled, with closer markers such as Haulashore Island and the Boulder Bank picked out in the foreground.
Mr Hanspach, who works for Janet Bathgate art + design, said he took nearly 100 photographs of the ranges and "stitched them together" to create a detailed image for viewers to refer to.
He said the way his artwork was printed directly onto an aluminum plate was a new process, as the image would normally have been printed on vinyl first.
Wellington company Dac manufactured the panel out of aluminum and stainless steel. Mr Hanspach said it was tough enough to remain in good condition for a long time.
"As long as vandalism doesn't come, it will last at least 10, 15, 20 years."
Similar signage exists at the Centre of New Zealand.
Historian and spokesman for Te Tau Ihu iwi John Mitchell said the rock's Maori name "Urenui" translated to "big penis". It was possible that iwi who moved south from a North Taranaki region also called "Urenui" might have "transplanted" the name, but this was only a guess.
"If you've got a fairly fertile imagination, you might be able to envisage something sticking out of the sea."
When European settlers came to Nelson, they renamed the rock after the storeship Arrow, which arrived on November 1, 1841, as the first immigrant ship in the area. It was captained by Arthur Wakefield.
The Arrow's name was given to Arrow Rock as the ship had to sail through a narrow channel between the rock and Haulashore Island before reaching Nelson.
Just a few months later, however, the immigrant ship "Fifeshire" was wrecked on the rock as it attempted to leave port on February 27, 1842. As The Prow historical site explained, the wreck remained on Arrow Rock for many years, and eventually the name "Fifeshire" supplanted "Arrow" in the public consciousness.
The Nelson Historical Society says both "Fifeshire" and "Arrow" are still important names from early history, while The Prow says "Fifeshire Rock" is common usage.
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