It should come as no surprise that the great majority of Wanganui people have voted to continue living in Wanganui.
Wanganui residents have rejected the proposed inclusion of an ‘h’ in their city’s name.
Results of a Wanganui District Council referendum released this afternoon show 77.3 per cent of respondents wanted the city’s name to remain spelt ‘Wanganui’ while 22.3 per cent wanted it changed to ‘Whanganui’.
Around 60 per cent of eligible voters – 18,636 residents – voted in the referendum.
We ought to be able to live where we want to live, and in this case, that means Wanganui. Not Whanganui.
If a whopping majority of townsfolk wanted their city to be called Bugger Me Sideways, then so be it. It’s their city.
But not in this bloody country can they call it what they want.
There’s a huffy bunch in Wellington called the New Zealand Geographic Board, and it will be calling the shots. Right now it is considering the possible name change for Wanganui, to stick in an “h”, and it is currently asking for public submissions.
Wanganui mayor Michael Laws – who has campaigned strongly against including the ‘h’ – has said Wanganui residents should have the final say.
“The results are decisive and overwhelming,” Mr Laws said today.
“They express unequivocal choices that no individual or organisation can possibly ignore.”
Wanna bet on it, Mr Mayor?