Topic: Ngamotu Road (TDN 28/01/2017)
Ngamotu, meaning 'the islands', is the Maori name for the area of New Plymouth around Paritutu and the Sugar Loaves. Connecting the port to the main road around the coast, it's appropriate that Ngamotu Rd traverses such a large part of this area.
It was noted on early survey plans, although for many years it was a poorly maintained dirt road through farmland. In the early 1900s metal was laid down, but, controversially, only at both ends where the few houses were located. Such was the lack of traffic in between that lupins were reported growing over the road.
The port end has always had a mix of industrial and residential use. The Taranaki Harbours Board owned land there and for many years oil exploration wells were a common sight in the general area.
When the road was sealed in the early 1950s, house building surged, filling in all the gaps. By the 1960s much of the original farmland had disappeared as new residential streets were formed off Ngamotu Road.
However, not all the farmland was utilized for housing. In about 1954 a block of land was designated a recreation area and the New Plymouth City Council appointed a Domain Board to manage its use. The Onuku Taipari Domain is now home to the Moturoa Association Football Club.
In the 1970s, to the consternation of some New Plymouth residents, the Ngamotu Tavern was developed nearby - today it is a church.