Auckland kindergartners name tunnel boring machine

Princess Twilight Super Worm is the new title given to a tunnel boring machine that will begin drilling new stormwater pipes in Auckland.

It was named by children at New Lynn Kindergarten - but that wasn't the only way they left their mark.

The title was given to the tunnel boring machine that will travel directly beneath the kindergarten

"Our other contestants were Elsa Unicorn and Rapunzel Flower," New Lynn Kindergarten head teacher Jennie Chin told Newshub.

The name continues the tradition of tunnel boring machines carrying a female moniker, like the Auckland City Rail Link project's Dame Whina Cooper and a previous tunnel borer named Alice.

Chin said the children were adamant it had to be a girl's name.

"We had a brief. It had to be a girl's name and so 'princess' was a strong contender for that reason. 'Twilight' because 'Princess Twilight Super Worm' will go underground. And 'Super Worm' because they felt like she had the job of a super worm."

The task before Princess Twilight Super Worm is as big as she is. The tunnel boring machine is undertaking a $25 million stormwater project paid for by the Auckland Council.

"We've currently got a job for Auckland Council to do a stormwater pipe, an outfall, to enable a housing development in New Lynn," said Alastair Blackler, general manager at Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure.

The machine will begin its journey at the kindergarten, tunnelling a distance of 550 metres to an outfall at a wetland reserve.

The children painted their handprints onto Princess Twilight Super Worm, wishing her well before her journey into the ground.

"It's good fun. Good for the kids and good for us," Blackler told Newshub.

High-fives all around as these children make their mark on a big day in their own suburb's development.