Whakapapa vs Whangaparaoa

At first I was laughing at this press release by the NZ Police which was released in the middle of yesterday’s storm.

***Urgent Media Release***

There have been reports in the Media about the evacuation of Whangaparaoa.

There is NO Evacuation of Whanagaparaoa.

However, I think I may have no have worked out where the confussion arised from. At 10.30am the Whakapapa Ski Field at Ruapehu was evacuated due to the storm. Reading more about it you can see why:

Between 10am and 10:40am the wind speed went from 0 to 100kph and it’s now sitting at over 200kph. Our extremely hardy road crew are currently out being blasted by wind and snow as they fit chains onto all vehicles to get the public safely down the road.

Now I can imagine that the media would of probably just confussed the word Whakapapa with the word Whangarparaoa quite easily. One is a ski field on Ruapehu which often gets hits by snow storms. The other is a peninsula north of Auckland with lots of homes on it. Given the storm would of been bad at both areas a mix up in words is not supprising at all.