Fifeshire rocks to top of poll
What do you think Nelson's iconic harbour rock should be called?
Fifeshire Rock is the clear winner in the court of public opinion as the best name for the Nelson Harbour landmark.
The Nelson City Council installed a new public information panel at the waterfront on Tuesday which lists the outcrop as "Arrow Rock", the name given to it by the early settlers.
The rock has been colloquially known as "Fifeshire Rock" since 1842. Like the Arrow, the Fifeshire was a passenger ship which brought settlers to Nelson.
In a nelsonmail.co.nz poll yesterday 60 per cent of 610 votes said the rock should be called "Fifeshire Rock".
Support for Arrow Rock was just 15 per cent, or 93 votes, while 24 per cent, 147 votes, plumped for the traditional Maori name Urenui, which translates to "big penis".
Most of those who emailed the Nelson Mail, commented on its website or posted on its Facebook page favoured "Fifeshire Rock" as well, saying this was the name they had been taught to use. Richmond man David Sissons said place names should reflect the culture around them.
"Should features of the land be named by bureaucrats or should they have the names given to them by the community?"
Nelson man Lester Price said on Facebook that he rowed out to the rock and climbed to the top of it in 1986. He found no clear indicator as to what the name should be, but commented on the amount of seagull guano collected there.
"It will always be known as Fifeshire Rock to true Nelsonians . . . ‘A rose by any other name is still a rose' even if it smells like bird poop."
Richmond man Steve Hannah suggested a postscript should be added below the label of "Arrow Rock" on the plaque so that tourists could be made aware of the local name for the rock.
"I think it is a crying shame that the Nelson City Council in their bureaucratic pedantry can't acknowledge that even if Arrow Rock is the most ‘correct' name for Fifeshire Rock, to generations of Nelsonians, it was always known as Fifeshire Rock."
Poster "grant1" said: "Rename the council chambers Urenui for obvious reasons."
- © Fairfax NZ News