Is Georgina Beyer’s New Zealand’s Most ‘Ground-Breaking’ Woman?

The LGBT+ icon has made the final three to win the naming rights for the Auckland City Rail Link project’s Tunnel Boring Machine.

Georgina Beyer is through to the final three in the search for an inspiring woman’s name for the City Rail Link project’s Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).

Georgina Beyer made history in 1999 when she was elected as the MP for Wairarapa, becoming the world’s first-ever transgender Member of Parliament. She remained in Parliament until 2008 and had previously served as the Mayor of Carterton.

Beyer joins scientist Dr Margaret Hayward and Maori welfare and lands champion Dame Whina Cooper.

The final three were amongst 300 pioneering Kiwi women who had been nominated.

City Rail Link’s Chief Executive, Dr Sean Sweeney, says votes counted so far indicate a close contest.

Without giving numbers away, Dame Whina is just ahead at this stage, but Dr Hayward and Ms Beyer are only a nudge behind,” Dr Sweeney says.

“Tunnelling tradition dictates a TBM cannot start work until it has been given a female name, a sign of good luck and safety for the project ahead.  Our search seeks to recognise the many amazing women New Zealand has produced,” Dr Sweeney says.

 New Zealanders can vote online at digCRL.co.nz until Friday, 24 April. 

The successful name will be announced in early May.