Te Anau park gets a title

Fiordland Community Board chairwoman Sarah Greaney.

THE community’s voice has been heard in the naming of a Te Anau park, with a decision made for it to be called Fergus Square Park.

It will not be named in honour of former Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno, but instead Fergus Square Park as desired by a majority through consultation.

In 2018, the then Te Anau Community Board, after receiving a request from a member of the public, decided to name the reserve in the town’s Fergus Square in honour of Mrs Cardno, who died in 2015.

The board decided to not fully consult the public on the idea.

Earlier this year there was opposition to the move, so the Southland District Council carried out a three-week survey from the end of April to gauge the views of the community.

Fiordland Community Board chairwoman Sarah Greaney said when the board discussed the survey responses, no huge debate was needed.

“We came to the conclusion, given the majority wanted the park named as Fergus Square Park, we would ask council to proceed with investigating getting that name gazetted.”

However, the memorial poles erected which outline Mrs Cardno’s life would stay as there was no reason to remove them given the lack of opposition in submissions, she said.

“That’s why we asked council to proceed with the opening and unveiling ceremony they had planned prior to the submission process.”

Of 321 responses, 69 wished it to be named Cardno Reserve, 199 wanted it named Fergus Square Park and 53 wanted something else.

Other name suggestions included leaving it unnamed, Mahana Park, George Senior Reserve and The Ferg.

Ms Greaney previously said the contention was mainly because several families were involved in developing the reserve.

Eight people said memorial poles installed at the site should stay.

Six said they should be removed altogether, and 27 thought they should be moved to a more appropriate location, such as near the library.

Ms Greaney said it would have been good if they had made the same naming decision previously, but it was the right decision now.