Heavy rain is one story to explain airport ceiling’s collapse – but what about a change of name?

Wanna know what happens when you consider changing names of an airport?

This newspaper report gives us a clue:

Pieces of the ceiling fell on three people, including a teenage girl, in a “distressing” incident at Hawke’s Bay Airport earlier this month.

A woman who did not wish to be named said bits of a ceiling panel rained down on her, a mother and her 13-year-old daughter while they sat waiting for an early-morning flight on April 10.

The 13-year-old girl received the “brunt” of the debris, with it landing on her head and neck.

“There were three of us. Obviously we were in shock – there was water dripping down on us afterwards. Eventually, when one of the Air New Zealand ladies came over, she said the area was cordoned off a month before when there was a lot of rain. Somebody knew there wasn’t something right up there, somebody wasn’t ensuring the safety of the public.

“We went to line up [for the flight] after we’d brushed the sodden ceiling off us.”

Airport chief executive Nick Story had a weather-related explanation.

He said rainfall had “compromised” a small area of external roofing in the corner of the southwest corner of the terminal building.

“Unfortunately, the ceiling tiles collapsed under the weight of rainwater, with debris falling on a young lady who was waiting to board an early morning flight with her mother.”

But Alf’s strong suspicions focus on another bit of information contained in the newspaper report.

Last month, the airport announced a $5 million terminal upgrade and a new name – Ahuriri Airport Hawke’s Bay.

Forget about the need for upgrading.

Focus on the new name.

There are dark forces at work which are rebelling against this change.

No, of course Alf can’t demonstrate that this was the real source of the problem.

But he does point out that Norma Jeane Baker changed her name to Norma Jeane Dougherty; Norma Jeane DiMaggio; Marilyn Monroe Miller – and, of course, Marilyn Monroe.

She came to an unfortunate end.

Telecom changed its name to Spark.

It once was NZ’s biggest listed company. Now it isn’t.

And Alf remembers reading this:

Have you ever thought about what influence your name has on you—on your personality, behavior patterns and life choices?

A growing body of research suggests that an individual’s name can have a profound impact that can reverberate from childhood to adulthood. A study by professors at the University of Melbourne and New York University found that people with simple, easy-to-pronounce names are more likely to be favored for a promotion at work.

“The impact of names comes from how people expect to see you,” says a professor from Ohio University. And while pre-judging people based on their name might seem unfair, we sometimes do so subconsciously when making decisions.

Alf submits that Hawke’s Bay Airport is easier to say than Ahuriri Airport Hawke’s Bay.

He is not a superstitious fellow – normally.

But in this case…

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