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Taranaki Street Names


Welcome to the Taranaki Street Names basket. This basket contains articles that are published in the Taranaki Daily News' "Word on the Street" column.  The articles are compiled by staff in the Taranaki Research Centre I Te Pua Wānanga o Taranaki at Puke Ariki.  If your street isn't here, please contact us.

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Olivia Street .

Olivia Street 

Regular readers of this column may recall that Norman Street in Vogeltown was named after the son of John and Henrietta Buckman. As it happens, Olivia Street was indirectly named after another of their children, but curiously not their well-known daughter, the opera singer Rosina Buckman.

The short-lived Taranaki Central Press reported on 23 December 1936, in an article about the history of Stratford street names, that in 1910 “the father of Rosina Buckman, the famous singer, opened up for building an area of land in Hamlet

Morrissey Street.

Morrissey Street 

A recent publication explaining the origins of Hāwera street names suggests that Morrissey Street was named after local blacksmith and borough councillor Edward Morrissey.

However, Edward’s obituary, published in the Hawera Star on 28 April 1933, makes it clear that the street was in fact named after his father, William Morrissey, who had owned the block of land that was later subdivided. Morrissey Street was part of this residential development.

William Morrissey (1834-1904) hailed from Waterford, a county in Ireland. Trained as a blacksmith he spent a

Edna Wills Place.

Edna Wills Place

Edna Wills Place in Hāwera is named after a well-known Hāwera woman who spent her life in voluntary work for many local organisations, including the Egmont A&P Association, the Women’s Division of the Federated Farmers, the Presbyterian Church and her favourite sport, croquet.

Edna was born in Hāwera in 1912, the only child of Ann and Ernest Washer who farmed at Okaiawa. Her mother died when Edna was 17 years old. Edna married Harold Wills, a farmer, when she was aged about 48.

She was very

Byron Place street sign.

Byron Place street sign

Byron Place was created as part of a multistage subdivision by Beazley Homes Limited in the late 1970s. Operating under the slogan “more home for your money”, Beazley Homes was established in Mount Maunganui in the 1950s by father and son Fred and Barry Beazley. Twenty years later they had 80 franchise builders around the country, constructing more than 1500 prefabricated homes annually. The company became Fletcher Homes in 1992.

Byron Place and several of its surrounding streets in Whalers Gate were copied from names in the Devon city

DP768 Tirotiromoana N.R. (Hawera S.D.).

Fraser Road

Fraser Road is regarded as one of the traditional dairying areas of South Taranaki. The road was named after a surveyor’s assistant.

De Gennes Fraser arrived in New Zealand in 1870. After joining the Lands and Survey Department as a cadet, he was involved in field work in the South Taranaki area. The first surveys forming Fraser Road were probably done in the late 1870s when the surrounding land was still covered in native bush.

In 1882, to encourage settlers to take up land, the government offered

Henry Waring Saxton (Puke Ariki collection).

Saxton Road 

New Plymouth’s Saxton Road was named after Henry Waring Saxton (1848-1919), who at the time of his death owned much of the land between Carrington and Doralto Roads.

Henry was born in Shropshire, England. His father, Charles Waring Saxton, had emigrated to Nelson with his first wife and brother in 1842. However, he didn’t stay long as his wife died soon after they arrived, leaving him with a young son born on the journey out to New Zealand. He returned to Shropshire and married again, to Mary

Leith Road.

Leith Road

Leith Road leads from State Highway 45 to the sea, just north of Ōkato. It appears to have been named after Leith, a district of Edinburgh, Scotland, joining several other roads in the area referencing United Kingdom locations, including Perth Road, which connects onto Leith Road forming a ring road.

This country road’s main claim to fame is the Leith Road Creamery which opened in 1911 under the management of a Mr H. Richardson. The local newspaper reported the creamery was opened without any kind of fanfare;

Halse Place street sign.

Halse Place street sign

Halse Place in Opunake was named after a lawyer with a penchant for gambling.

William Henry Halse was born in London on 25 May 1817. His father John served as court secretary and his mother Clarissa was a lady-in-waiting to the queen, so they raised their family at St James’ Palace. William trained as a solicitor and immigrated to Taranaki with his brother Henry on the ship Amelia Thompson in 1841. The adventurous young bachelors gained a reputation for being tearaways, with William brought before the local magistrate in

Duke Place street sign.

Duke Place street sign

Duke Place was created in 1989 off Young Street in central New Plymouth.

Mt Edgecumbe Street used to extend all the way from Aubrey Street through to Young but in the late 1970s it was shortened to terminate at the intersection with Aubrey. The street’s northwestern end eventually became Duke Place.

The name was chosen by residents from a list taken from Plymouth in England – that city, New Plymouth’s namesake, has a Duke Street which was one of a group of roads named after members of the Hanoverian

Strange Street sign.

Strange Street sign

Waitara’s Strange Street was named after an Irish soldier killed during the First Taranaki War.

Thomas George Strange was born on 5 February 1826 in County Kerry. His father, Thomas Senior, had been a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy before his tragic death, crushed between two coaches near Stonehenge. He left behind his half-Indian wife Elizabeth and five small children.

Young Thomas arrived in New Zealand in 1852 with the 65th Regiment of the British Army, nicknamed the Royal Tigers and known by Māori as the Hickety Pips. Strange was

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