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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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Paritutu Road.

Paritutu Road

Known as Paritūtū Road since at least 1854, the name of this street was of course taken from Paritūtū itself.

Remnant of an ancient volcano, Māori had flattened the summit of Paritūtū (the name means upright cliff) to build whare and food storage pits and a fortified pā was constructed at the eastern base. The rock was sighted by Captain James Cook through his telescope on 13 January 1770 and noted in his diary as “a very remarkable point on the Main that riseth to a good height”.

By the 1890s

Longfellow Road street sign.

Longfellow Road street sign

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the most famous poets of the Victorian era.

Born in the United States in 1807, he was a professor at Harvard and fluent in 15 languages when he became a celebrity in the 1840s. His long poem based on Native American legend, “The song of Hiawatha”, sold 4000 copies on its first day alone and spawned Hiawatha-branded tobacco, bicycles, soap, potato sacks, thermometers and biscuit tins. His work was hugely popular throughout the English-speaking world (admirers included Abraham Lincoln and Charles Dickens) and

Bayly Street.

Bayly Street

Waitara’s Bayly Street was named after a man known as “the Father of Waitara”.

Thomas Bayly Junior arrived in New Plymouth as a young boy in 1841. His parents and four siblings, along with two uncles, their wives and children, all sailed on the Amelia Thompson. Uncle William was a butcher who became New Plymouth’s fourth Mayor and also has a street named after him, Bayly Road in Moturoa.

Born on 29 January 1832 in Cornwall, Thomas Jr spent the reminder of his childhood on the family farm at Kaipakopako. His

Bruce Road, Toko.

Bruce Road, Toko 

Government dislike of land speculators is no new political fashion. The early development of the Toko Block, east of Stratford, was hindered for a long time because of this very reason.

Unlike many inland areas, from the 1880s land around Toko was being bought and sold by private owners. They considered it to be ideal sheep country. However, they wanted better road access. Streams and swamps in the area reduced the dirt roads to impassible, muddy messes in bad weather.

The Liberal Party formed a Government

Wentworth Lane .

Wentworth Lane

Wentworth Lane is another of the golf-themed street names common in the Links subdivision in Bell Block.

It is named after a privately owned golf club and health resort located in Virginia Water, Surrey. The clubhouse was built in the 19th Century as the home for the brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington. The development of the golf courses was the brainchild of a builder W.G. Tarrant who began an ambitious housing development in 1912, the key being a golf course next to the project.

The first

Kaimata Street.

Kaimata Street

Kaimata Street is located in Vogeltown and is also the name of a small settlement 8 kilometres from Inglewood.

Kaimata stands out as a bit of an oddity among nearby street names. It is surrounded by roads with names such as Somerset, Essex and Cornwall, which reference our long standing connection with south-west England.

One reason for this is that Kaimata Street was surveyed in 1937, some years before the other streets. It is also the street closest to Brooklands Park, which is where the name comes

Hunter Street.

Hunter Street 

Hunter Street in Hāwera acknowledges the life and contribution to the district of one of South Taranaki’s largest land owners and most successful farmers.

When young Scotsman Moore Hunter left home he lived for a few years in Canada. It was only after he arrived in New Zealand that he found what he was looking for in life. He bought a farm in Kai Iwi, then one in Waitotara. By the 1870s he had sold up and settled in Hāwera.

He bought land on the southwestern edge

Hill Street.

Hill Street 

Before Hill Street in Eltham was planned, the town laid out a sports ground in the area. It wasn’t a suitable location. Rugby teams with a lead late in the game wasted time by kicking the ball down a slope. This obvious problem wasn’t the only reason sportsmen soon moved on though.

In the 1890s work started on draining the Ngaere swamp. The improved access from the north meant land values in Eltham increased dramatically. George Moir, a prominent land owner, opened up what became Moir Street

Hector Place.

Hector Place

Hector Place in Opunake was named after a man who dominated the scientific institutions of his adopted country.

Born in Edinburgh on 16 March 1834, James Hector studied geology and medicine before spending three years exploring western Canada, mapping a route through the Rocky Mountains. He came to New Zealand in 1862, working first in Otago, where he was employed to conduct a three-year geological survey, then Wellington, where he became Director of the Colonial Museum (predecessor of Te Papa). Hector was also responsible for many other official scientific bodies, including the

Hawera SO7705.

Erin Street

Hāwera’s Erin Street, along with four of the town’s other central streets, was named to commemorate the union of the four countries of Great Britain.

Erin is an old poetic name for Ireland which seems to have originated from the Irish word for Ireland, Éire. In 1801 Ireland joined the United Kingdom so the naming of this street, along with Albion, (England) Caledonia (Scotland), Cambria (Wales) and Union Streets, was a patriotic nod to the home countries of the settlers.

The fortunes of Erin St, which it

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