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Dr André Brett grew up marking Wellington Anniversary Day on the Kāpiti Coast. He is currently a historian at the University of Wollongong and the author of three books, including Acknowledge No Frontier: The Creation and Demise of New Zealand’s Provinces. Otago University Press is releasing his fourth book later in 2021, Can’t Get There from Here: New Zealand’s Shrinking Passenger Rail Network (with Sam van der Weerden).
To grasp why the push to change has caused such a fuss, and to appreciate why it’s so muddle-minded, we need to consider how the university got its name, and what names mean to the university community