Wanaka Sun       

John Creek officially recognised

Posted at 5:38am Thursday 27 Dec, 2018 | By Ruth Blunt editor@thewanakasun.co.nz


Ongoing confusion around the name of a settlement, know as John's Creek by locals but named Gladstone on maps, is finally over. Gladstone will be wiped off local maps, and replaced instead with its commonly used, and now officially recognised, name John Creek.

Gladstone was a paper town that never eventuated, its location now partially underwater at Lake Hawea, but the name appears on maps, and to emergency services, as the small settlement of John's Creek at the southeast corner of the lake, about 4.5km northeast of the town.

The original application to alter Gladstone to John Creek, for the village, and Johns Creek to John Creek, for the stream, was made by Lake Hawea resident Barbara Chinn almost two years ago.

Chinn told the Wanaka Sun that the place name noted on topographical maps for the area John Creek is Gladstone, a settlement surveyed in the 1800s, but never settled, with many of the surveyed sections being submerged when Lake Hawea was raised in the 1950s. The 'John Creek' settlement is named after the John family, who first farmed there.

At its meeting in April 2018 the New Zealand Geographic Board agreed to accept proposals to alter the unofficial recorded names of Johns Creek (stream) to John Creek and Gladstone (village) to John Creek and undertook a three month notification period during which 18 submissions were received, 14 supporting and four objecting. The supporting submissions generally confirmed the application, stating that ‘John[s] Creek' has been in long term local use for the village, while Gladstone is not, and this causes confusion. They also emphasise the relevance of the ‘John' family's name to the area, and that the proposed names without a possessive would make it clearer the name is a surname.

At its meeting in September 2018 the NZGB resolved all recommendations, and their decisions were reported to the Minister for Land Information to make the final determinations.

The Minister made the final determinations on November 9, 2018 to alter the geographic names, which took effect last Thursday (December 20) being their date of publication in the New Zealand Gazette.


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