By Hayley Gastmeier
The township of Lake Ferry has been officially named, and Featherston just may be next.
Land Information New Zealand on Thursday confirmed the New Zealand Geographic Board’s (NZGB) decision to assign Lake Ferry as the official name of the locality.
That means Lake Ferry, one of the oldest townships in the region, has officially been named before some of its bigger Wairarapa neighbours including Eketahuna, Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, Featherston, and Martinborough.
Featherston resident and Lake Ferry landowner Perry Cameron called for the official naming after discovering the coastal settlement’s name had never been formalised.
He submitted an application to the NZGB that took into account the history of the place and the views of affected people and groups.
Mr Cameron said since the news he had received “nothing but positive feedback” from the Lake Ferry Ratepayers Association.
“And the interesting angle is that it’s been picked up by the Featherston community that this is the sort of path they should follow in terms of… how valuable it would be for Featherston to enhance their image.”
Mr Cameron said an official listing of the town’s name would help with its international recognition.
“Because it gives people a means of locating these interesting townships and interesting historic places.”
Lake Ferry will be entered in the New Zealand Gazetteer, which holds all official names for features within the NZGB’s coverage.
Mr Cameron has already approached Real Estate Institute of New Zealand to have them update their search tools on their websites to include Lake Ferry.
Featherston Ratepayers and Residents Association chairman Ed Hudson said the group would be submitting a proposal to the NZGB for official name recognition of the town.
“This will help boost Featherston and put it on the map.”
Mr Hudson said the group had been surprised to learn the number of Wairarapa localities yet to be officially named.
“We want to do something about it. And if we can get it done [Featherston recognised] as I think we can, I would imagine every town will want to do the same thing because it would benefit everybody.”
He said it would increase the region’s “visibility” on the internet and alert people to its “historical profile”.