‘Sheild’ street sign be wrong, mate


‘‘Surely, if you're go­ing to hon­our the woman, the least you can do is spell her name right.’’

A Porirua street sign trib­ute to a dis­tin­guished Kapiti politi­cian has back­fired in a name-spelling blun­der.

The em­bar­rass­ing botch-up arose in homage to Dame Mar­garet Shields, who has a street named af­ter her in a sub­di­vi­sion un­der con­struc­tion in Porirua’s Aotea sub­urb.

The street sign reads ’’Mar­garet Sheilds Ave’’ and has drawn the ire of Porirua res­i­dent and for­mer Welling­ton jour­nal­ist Mike Dun­can who de­cried the mis­take on his Face­book page in what he called ‘‘the Face­book era.’’

‘‘Clearly a case of Sheild be right mate. Surely, if you’re go­ing to hon­our the woman, the least you can do is spell her name right.’’

Kevin Alkema, project man­ager for sub­di­vi­sion devel­op­ers Car­rus Cor­po­ra­tion, apol­o­gised and said the gaffe was re­gret­ted and it was ‘‘not good enough’’ es­pe­cially given Shields’ stature.

Shields - who died in 2013 aged 71 - was Labour’s Kapiti MP be­tween 1981 and 1990 and was ac­claimed for launch­ing the women’s move­ment in New Zealand - she worked tire­lessly through­out her ca­reer cam­paign­ing for women’s rights.

She was elected as Porirua rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil in 1995, and ap­pointed deputy chair­woman in 1998 and chair­woman from 2001 to 2004.

Shields had held of­fices in the UN De­vel­op­ment Fund for Women, the UN In­ter­na­tional Re­search and Train­ing In­sti­tute for the Ad­vance­ment of Women, the Na­tional Coun­cil of Women and the Fed­er­a­tion of Grad­u­ate Women. She was in­vested as a Dame Com­pan­ion of the NZ Or­der of Merit in 2009.

The sub­di­vi­sion fea­tures streets named af­ter prom­i­nent lo­cal politi­cians.

The av­enue is a through road re­quir­ing signs at each end - one sign was spelled cor­rectly, the other had the mis­take and is still stand­ing on the Ken Dou­glas Cres end of the av­enue.

RTL mar­ket­ing and sales man­ager James Smith said it was not pos­si­ble to tell how the er­ror hap­pened as the or­der was a year old and the com­pany had since changed its com­puter soft­ware.

Smith con­firmed a new - cor­rectly spelled - sign had been made and de­liv­ered to the de­vel­oper’s in­stal­la­tion firm.

Devel­op­ers have or­dered a new sign to re­place this mis­spelled trib­ute to de­ceased politi­cian Dame Mar­garet Shields.

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