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Saint Arnaud

Saint Arnaud is a small alpine village located in the north of New Zealand's South Island, west of the mountains of the Saint Arnaud Range and 90 kilometres southwest of Nelson near the historic Tophouse Settlement. It is situated at the northern end of Lake Rotoiti.Name disputeThe village was called Rotoiti until 1921, when it was renamed by the Department of Lands and Survey to avoid confusion with other communities of the same name. Archives show that between 1921 and 1951 both names were unofficially used by local residents and government agencies when referring to the village area.Such references include a letter dated 1 June 1950 from the Chief Surveyor of the Nelson District Office of the Department of Lands and Survey to the New Zealand Geographic Board stating that "for many years confusion has occurred due to correspondence addressed to the residents and visitors at Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Land District going to Lake Rotoiti, near Rotorua, in the Auckland Land District. Due to the same confusion of names, the Town of Rotoiti in the Nelson Land District was altered to Town of St. Arnaud by this Department." However, the name St. Arnaud did not receive legal approval until it was gazetted on 19 July 1951. Some locals were opposed to this change, as shown by a 4 December 1950 petition held by the New Zealand Geographic Board opposing the name change. Some local residents today still give their address as Lake Rotoiti, even with St. Arnaud as the official name.A proposal with the New Zealand Geographic Board to either change the village's name back to its original name of Rotoiti or to use a dual name (a relatively common practice in New Zealand), failed in 2007. A survey had originally indicated that just over half of the area residents supported a return to the original name.
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