West Coast town gets name change in honour of Pokemon game

Reporter
Aug. 8, 2016


JOANNE CARROLL

Last updated 18:39, August 8 2016

The West Coast town's sign on the main street was altered on Sunday night in homage to the Pokemon gaming craze hitting the country. 

Locals took photos of the new sign before it was taken down in the early hours by vandals. 

It was one of a series of name changes the town has h

At Christmas it was changed to Ho Ho Hokitika, in April the town became Mookitika for Agfest. It also became Hockeytika during a hockey tournament in 2006. 

Hokitika man Don Neale was responsible for the altered sign. He also created the renowned Hokitika sign made out of driftwood on the town's beach. 

"I guess I'm someone with lots of time on their hands. I love the town. It's funny. The word Hokitika has lots of opportunities to mess around with. I thought we could market the town as the New Zealand capital of Pokemon," he said. 

His friend had emailed the game's makers to ask for more Pokestops and Pokemon to catch, but had not received a response. 

He put the sign up at 9pm on Sunday, but it was taken down overnight. 

"I found it in two bits trashed and thrown into the scrub. I'm not sure if I'll put it back up again. Some people seem anti having a bit of fun or anti having a stupid kid's game taking over their town," he said. 

 - Stuff