Auckland community Hill Park aiming to get officially named

5:25 pm on 24 January 2019

A south Auckland community that doesn't officially exist is fighting to put itself on the map.

The Hill Park shops

The Hill Park shops in Manurewa, Auckland. Photo: Rowan Quinn / RNZ

Hill Park in Manurewa has been around since the 1960s and lends its name to a school, a superette, a pharmacy, a dentist, a bakery and more.

But it does not appear on Auckland maps.

Residents Scott Oakley and Dmitri Mayster are trying to change that and will tonight ask the Manurewa Local Board to support their application to have it officially named by the New Zealand Geographic Places Board.

"We'd just like the name Hill Park to be formally recognised, to give the community some kind of identity and belonging," Mr Oakley said.

The area had its own distinctive character with native bush, parks, sixties architecture and a heritage homestead, he said.

Hill Park residents Scott Oakely (l) and Dmitry Mayster want the area to be officially on the map

Photo: Rowan Quinn / RNZ

Some residents told RNZ people were often confused about where exactly Hill Park was.

Unichem Hillpark Pharmacy owner Kathy Maxwell said everyone who lived and worked there called it Hill Park.

Manurewa had many small areas and she wanted the community to be officially recognised as one of them.

"Manurewa is nearly as big as Dunedin and people from Dunedin associate with St Kilda and Mornington, they associate with their communities. Manurewa is so big that we associate with our communities," she said.

Kathy Maxwell from Unichem Hillpark Pharmacy  supports the area getting an official name.

Unichem Hillpark Pharmacy owner Kathy Maxwell. Photo: Rowan Quinn / RNZ

But in the Manurewa town centre, some questioned whether snobbery was at play, with Hill Park perceived to be one of the more well-heeled parts of town.

"'Rewa is 'Rewa," said Manurewa resident Meschach Lloyd.

"They believe their place is better than ours so they should have their own name. That is wrong."

But Mr Oakley and Mr Mayster said the change was about identity, not snobbery, and they did not want to sever ties with Manurewa.

"It's always been closely part of Manurewa ... we're not packing up and moving away," Mr Oakley said.

The Geographic Board said when it received a place name application it had to first decide whether it is was worth serious consideration.

If it was, the board would then engage with the community before making a final decision.