What is in a name?

If a playground has no name is it still a playground?

Whatever the answers are to those questions, a competition has been launched to find new names for two East Gore playgrounds.

The Gore District Council records the playgrounds as being named after the two streets nearby, but there are no signs up identifying one as the Hamilton St Playground and the other as the Oxford St Playground.

The competition is being organised by the East Gore Neighbourhood Play Systems Project kaitiaki roopu (guidance group).

The project, which is one of four throughout New Zealand, is being undertaken by East Gore School, Active Southland and the Gore District Council. The community-led project aims to improve play opportunities for all age groups and abilities. Already fruit trees have been planted, playgrounds upgraded and a new half basketball court built as part of the project.

East Gore School principal Wendy Kitto said the playgrounds were named in the 1960s.

‘‘The names given at that time don’t have any relevance today.

‘‘The names aren’t reflective of our diverse and multicultural society.’’

It was also confusing because Hamilton Park was not far away, Ms Kitto said.

People who entered the competition would also need to explain why their name was a good choice. The winners of the competition would receive a $250 gift card each.

The competition was open now and would close on May 16, she said.

However, once the names were selected the group would still need to petition the Gore District Council to allow the change.

‘‘We hope the council will be willing.’’

It was hoped if the names were changed, the council would provide new signs.

Active Southland regional community adviser Cheyenne Ballantine said renaming the parks fitted the philosophy behind the neighbourhood play systems.

‘‘This is just another aspect of influencing change at these parks to make them more exciting for whanau and friends to play at.’’