Wes­ley wins bat­tle over his­toric name

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - HUGH COLLINS

The stoush for the name Wes­ley is over.

In April, com­pa­nies be­hind a ‘‘new town’’ de­vel­op­ment in south Auck­land sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion to the New Zealand Ge­o­graphic Board ( NZGB) to gain ex­clu­sive rights to the name Wes­ley.

How­ever the peo­ple of Wes­ley in cen­tral Auck­land’s Mt Roskill re­fused to ac­cept the pro­posal and worked to­gether to de­fend their his­toric name.

With two dif­fer­ent pe­ti­tions gath­er­ing around 1500 sig­na­tures, the de­vel­oper in south Auck­land, Grafton Downs Limited, an­nounced on Tues­day it would be with­draw­ing its ap­pli­ca­tion to the NZGB.

While the cen­tral Auck­land Wes­ley is not a sub­urb with a post­code, it does have a pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate school along with a com­mu­nity cen­tre, largely sit­u­ated around San­dring­ham Road.

Grafton Downs ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Chris John­ston said his board recog­nised there was over­whelm­ing sup­port in the area for them to re­tain the name Wes­ley.

‘‘Rather than take the Wes­ley name from this pas­sion­ate com­mu­nity we have de­cided to look for al­ter­na­tive names for our new town, which we hope will grow with the same united sense of be­long­ing as this one,’’ John­ston said.

‘‘We are hum­bled that this com­mu­nity is so pas­sion­ate about a name that is also very im­por­tant to us and are de­lighted that it will be re­tained and cher­ished for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.’’

Wes­ley In­ter­me­di­ate School prin­ci­pal of 20 years and for­mer stu­dent Nigel Davis said the de­ci­sion was a vic­tory.

‘‘I think from what I’ve found they [Grafton Downs] had no idea about how pas­sion­ate the peo­ple were in this area in re­gard to the ac­tual name Wes­ley,’’ Davis said.

Wes­ley keeps its name.

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