With a population of 15,600 and growing, Richmond is reaching the size and geographical spread where it could be time to consider dividing it into individual suburbs.

Tasman District Council environment and planning manager, Dennis Bush-King, told elected members at a regulatory committee meeting that he sought some direction on whether there was “any appetite” to liaise with the New Zealand Geographic Board over suburb names for Richmond in the near future.

Councillor Trevor Tuffnell, who is one of four elected members for the Richmond Ward alongside Dana Wensley, Kit Maling and Mark Greening, said the ward councillors are due to get together soon, and the matter could be discussed “at that level to take it from there”.

To start the ball rolling, Dennis suggested some names for the four suburbs. He came up with Richmond Central for the main town, Hope – which would make it more of an official division from Richmond, Templemore for the area across to Champion Road and Waimea for the new subdivision complex at the bottom of Lower Queen Street.

Templemore was the name of the original farms in the area and is also the name of the main distributor road, while Waimea is “a translocation of the term associated with the plains and the Waimea River, and is a Te Reo name reflective of our history”.

Drawing the boundary lines should be relatively easy, says Dennis, but choosing names that reflect the history, development, or events could be more challenging.

The naming of suburbs has to be approved by the geographic board and wouldn’t be an overnight decision. Locals were divided on whether it needed to happen, given that most people already see Hope as a standalone area like Brightwater and Wakefield.

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