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The different names of Greytown

By Seamus Boyer

There have been some interesting names being bandied around to describe Greytown recently.

The “Ponsonby of Wellington” is one.

Another is “country village heaven”.

Both names are aimed at creating a bit of excitement about the town, and both are trying to sell something.

In the first case, Greytown’s status as being Ponsonby-like comes from a marketing campaign to sell The Hub, Main St’s newest development.

In the second, the country village heaven tagline has been thought up as a way of better marketing Greytown to those outside the region as a shopping destination.

A website is soon to be launched to highlight this.

The slogans have been created very much around commerce in the town, and as such come with a very specific goal in mind.

But do either accurately encapsulate the town and its people?

Comparing Greytown to Auckland’s upmarket suburb seems a bit far-fetched.

For one, Greytown is an hour’s drive from Wellington.

Ponsonby is also sometimes the butt of jokes for people who live both in and outside Auckland.

Likewise the term country village could summon up images of both charm and vibrancy as well as backwardness.

Greytown is a great little town with a nice main street, but it seems to be being pulled this way and that, with businesses and Main St retailers in mind.

Of course getting more visitors to the town can be seen as a wider good – visitors spend money in the area, and the businesses themselves employ local people.

The flipside is that those who live in Greytown know how difficult it is to find a park on the weekend, and driving down Main St can be a nightmare.

But you can’t have it both ways.

The obvious question remains: does Greytown need to be known as anything other than a nice little family-friendly town with a pretty main street?

Probably not – but that’s not very catchy, and won’t attract visitors or their dollars.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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