The Pride of Karangahape Road
We just re-did our stores window display to say, "Let's call K' Road Karangahape Again". This Māori Language week, we want to promote the thought that we have been chewing on for a while; That shortening Karangahape Road to K' Road, no matter how innocent it is, takes away from the pride and history that this location holds!
This ridge-line road is, and has always been, called Karangahape because the Te Reo name predates any European settlement or road of trade - even Queen street! The Symonds Street and Karangahape Road ridges are part of the walking route used by Maori to reach the Manukau Harbour known as: Te Ara o Karangahape - The Path of Karangahape.
In 1908 there are newspaper clippings of public meetings trying to change the name from being Te Reo and failing. The discussion to change the name also happened and failed in 1913 and again in 1953! A particular hideous comment is, 'as the maoris are fast disappearing from our midst let us by all means free ourselves from the shackles of such euphonious and distinctive names as Karangahape, Waitemata, Rangitoto and Remuera, etc’
In some ways, though the name hasn't officially been changed, the 'public' of the past has won in a way by shortening the historic and significant name of Karangahape Road to K' Road.
We are proud that today, the community that congregate on Karangahape Road are known to be liberal and passionately care about social justice. I believe that as the new 'public' of Karangahape Road, let's reclaim the rich, five-syllable full Te Reo word until it is the new normal. By doing so, we respect the Tangata Whenua and the history of the land we are on.