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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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George Street sign.

George Street sign

George Street was named after Ernest Alfred George, twice Mayor of Waitara.

Ernest was born in Inglewood on 1 February 1885, the son of railway guard Joseph George and his wife Mathilda. The couple had immigrated to New Zealand from Wolverhampton in 1874 but Mathilda died when Ernest was just seven, leaving his father to bring up ten children.

Joseph moved to Waitara in 1904 and established a successful cordial business. Ernest joined the trade, manufacturing and selling a range of soft drinks using “only the best cane sugar, high-grade

Hutchen Place (Daily News 15 December 1972).

Hutchen Place (Daily News 15 December 1972) 

 (Daily News, 15 December 1972)

In June 1972 the first vessel was able to tie up at the brand new Blyde Wharf in Port Taranaki. Before that, a new road had been formed to provide access to the wharf. It would soon be named after a long-serving port official, Mr Bruce Hutchen.

Hutchen began farming in the Mahoe area of South Taranaki in the 1920s. During his many years living there he was secretary of the local school and on the board of the

Namu Road street sign.

Namu Road street sign

Namu Road in Opunake was named after the historic fortress of Te Namu pā.

The pā was located on the western bank of the Otahi stream, on a triangular headland just north of Opunake. The rocky promontory was ideal for defence and very difficult to attack – the only way into the pā was by ladder from the river side. The inhabitants of Te Namu planted crops and built whare and food storage pits but also constructed palisades and a watch tower, gathering vast quantities of stones from the

Hughson Street sign.

Hughson Street sign

Hughson Street in Waitara was named after a former Mayor of the town.

James Pole Hughson was born in the Shetland Islands in 1872, the youngest of Hugh and Andrina Hughson’s six children. The whole family immigrated to New Zealand on the ship Eastminster in 1880, making their way from Wellington to New Plymouth where Hugh worked as a storekeeper (and sometime dentist) on Ōmata Road.

James initially tried his hand at farming but joined the railway service in 1890. New Zealand Railways employed tens of thousands of staff in

Dowding Place street sign.

Dowding Place street sign

Dowding Place was named after the first soldier from Waitara to die in the Second World War.

Leonard Rex Dowding was born on 30 April 1919, the only son of Francis (Frank) Norman Dowding and his wife Mary. Frank had served with the Rifle Brigade during the First World War, enlisting at the age of 38 and losing his left eye after suffering a gunshot wound in France in 1916. He returned to Waitara in October of that year, and was welcomed at the train station by a crowd

Hickman Road sign.

Hickman Road sign

Hickman Road in Urenui was named after Thomas Hickman, known as “the smallest policeman in New Zealand”.

Born in France to British parents on 13 January 1848, the diminutive Hickman immigrated to New Zealand on a ship called the Wild Duck in 1867. He worked as a clerk in the capital before volunteering for the Wellington Rangers as a bugler the following year. Part of the Colonial Defence Force during the New Zealand Wars, the Rangers took Thomas to South Taranaki where he was involved in the first attack on Te

Anne Street sign.

Anne Street sign

Named after Princess Anne in 1972 at the request of land developer Gregory Butler, Anne Street in Ferndale runs, appropriately enough, off Elizabeth Place. Anne visited New Plymouth two years later, so one hopes she was told about her street.

It was February 1974 and the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles were in the country to mark the celebration of New Zealand Day – renamed Waitangi Day in 1976 – which had just been made a public holiday. Anne and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, were

DP6970 Wilton Street.

Wilton Street

Wilton Street in Westown runs between Waimea Street and Wrantage Street. It was surveyed in 1951 on behalf of the landowner, Mr Francis William Reesby.

As with many other New Plymouth streets, its name was chosen from a list that referenced the city’s historical connection with southwest England. A letter from the town clerk to Mr Reesby states simply that “Wilton is the name of a street in Plymouth, England”.

Wilton Street is located in the Plymouth suburb of Millbridge and Wilton is also the name of

Augusta Grove.

Augusta Grove 

Augusta Grove is another of the golf-themed street names located in The Links subdivision next to New Plymouth Golf Club.

It was named after the Augusta National Golf Club which hosts one of golf’s four major championships, The Masters. The course was designed by well-known amateur Bobby Jones and Scottish golf course architect Alister Mackenzie - who also designed the Titirangi golf course in Auckland. Augusta officially opened in 1933 and the first Masters tournament was held the following year, won by the American professional Horton Smith.

Penning Road sign.

Penning Road sign

Pennington Road in Brixton is named after Joseph Pennington, whose surname comes from an Old English word referring to a farm rented for a penny.

Born in Lincolnshire in 1832, Joseph Pennington enlisted in the British Army as a teenager following the death of his mother. He served with the Grenadier Guards before joining the 57th Regiment, the so-called Die Hards. After fighting in the Crimean War (where he claimed to have met Florence Nightingale) and India, he was sent to New Zealand, arriving in New Plymouth on the ship

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