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Dunedin roads will have more women's names

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Fri, 24 Mar 2023, 11:44am
Dunedin city councillors Christine Garey (left), and Marie Laufiso are glad progress is being made on recognising more women on the city’s street signs. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Dunedin city councillors Christine Garey (left), and Marie Laufiso are glad progress is being made on recognising more women on the city’s street signs. Photo / Otago Daily Times

Dunedin roads will have more women's names

Author
Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Fri, 24 Mar 2023, 11:44am

Plenty of men from Dunedin’s history are recognised on the city’s street signs - but not many women.

The Dunedin City Council is taking steps to change that.

The council yesterday announced the names of nine influential women it hoped to add to its road naming register, a list of pre-approved names that can be chosen for new roads in the city.

Group manager transport Jeanine Benson said consent from family members of the women will be needed before the names are added to the list.

“We are reaching out to family members of each of these women, asking that they come forward and approve their use.

“Without family consent, we cannot add these names to the register.”

The historic figures it hoped to add to the list included Yvette Winifred Corlett, the first woman from New Zealand to win an Olympic gold medal.

Former track-and-field athlete Yvette Corlett, who died in 2019. Photo / Sarah Ivey, File

Former track-and-field athlete Yvette Corlett, who died in 2019. Photo / Sarah Ivey, File

Laura Maria Hayward was included for her work with refugees in Dunedin during World War 1 for which she was awarded the Belgian honour, the Medaille de la Reine Elisabeth.

Harriet Morison, the founding member of the women’s franchise league in Dunedin was also on the list.

The additions come after the council was criticised in 2016 when staff came up with 18 names to be added to the list that only included Pākehā men.

Benson said the council was also in the process of including more Māori options to the list.

About 20 Māori naming options were being reviewed.

Anyone with a family connection to the nine women was asked to contact council transport staff within the next three months.

Councillor Christine Garey, a member of the Women of Ōtepoti Recognition Project, has been campaigning for better recognition of women on Dunedin’s street signs, and welcomed the move.

Christine Garey. Photo / supplied via Otago Daily Times

Christine Garey. Photo / supplied via Otago Daily Times

“For too long the women who helped to shape this city have not been recognised in the street names chosen thus far. That is slowly starting to change,” she said.

She challenged developers who chose from the list when building subdivisions to go with more diverse names.

- Mark John, ODT

Nine names proposed for road naming register

Rachelina Hepburn Armitage (1873-1955)

Yvette Winifred Corlett (nee Williams, 1929-2019)

Margaret Cruickshank (1873-1918)

Laura Maria Hayward (1870-1966)

Rachel Reynolds (nee Pinkerton) (1838-1928)

Eileen Louise Soper (nee Service) (1900-89)

Mary Ann Wellbourn (1835-1918)

Catherine Redmayne (1825-1869)

Harriet Morison (1862-1925)

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