'Jacindigger': Call for Kiwis to name City Rail Link's new boring machine

Auckland's City Rail Link is asking for "ground-breaking" New Zealand women to name their new boring machine after.

The City Rail Link and Link Alliance are running the competition online and in local libraries to choose a name for the new Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). The TBM will be used to excavate tunnels for Auckland's new train line.

A spokesperson for the project says New Zealanders' quirky sense of humour is reflected in the creative names submitted.

Among the 80 different names are 'Jacindigger' - named after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - and 'Subterranean Sue', named after Dame Susan Devoy.

Other New Zealander women's names put forward by the public include those of war heroes, sports champions and entertainers.

TBMs and other large underground machinery usually take women's names to honour St Barbara, the patron saint and protector of tunnels and those who deal with explosives.

City Rail Link’s chief executive Dr Sean Sweeney said he currently refers to the machinery as the "lady in waiting" and was excited to give it a meaningful name.

"All those who have been nominated share one thing in common - their inspiring talents, skills and leadership have made, or are making, a huge impact on New Zealand," he said.

"The TBM will have a very forceful influence on the project, and that’s why we want the name of a woman who has had an equally strong influence on our country."

He said the boring machine can't begin it's work until it is named. Currently, it is expected to start tunnel excavation from Mt Eden in February 2021.

Name suggestions for the TBM will close on March 5 before the top three names will be announced on March 12 where the public can then vote for their favourite.