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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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Dowding Place in Waitara commemorates Corporal Leonard Rex Dowding, the first Waitara soldier killed in action during the Second World War.

Born at Waitara on 30th April 1918, Leonard Rex Dowding was the only son of Mr Francis Norman (Frank) Dowding, himself a First World War veteran, and his wife Mary (nee Jones). Rex was educated at both Tikorangi and Waitara Primary Schools, and later attended New Plymouth Boys High School.

After attending High School for two years, Rex worked at the Lepperton Co-operative Dairy Factory for a year, before starting an upholstery apprenticeship in Wellington. On 12th September 1939

High Street.

High Street 

In 1996, the New Zealand Geographic published an article exploring the most common and the more unusual street names in the country. High Street was one of the most popular, appearing 80 times on maps of New Zealand towns and cities. 

New Plymouth’s High Street probably rates as one of the shortest and quietest ‘High Streets’ in the country. Many local residents would probably struggle to locate it on a map. The short street runs between Molesworth and Gill Streets. Plumbing World is on the Gill Street

Union Street .

Union Street 

Union Street in Merrilands was a very practical name. According to The Taranaki Daily News in September 1951, it was called that for no other reason than it was “the new street connecting Lismore Street and Mangorei Road.”

Town planners’ intentions were clear much earlier on though. An unformed roadway had been noted on survey plans as far back as the early 1900s. Back then, Turehu Street was known as Nobs Line and the future Union Street was marked on plans by a post and wire fence

Kapu Grove.

Kapu Grove

Kapu Grove in the New Plymouth suburb of Whalers Gate is a double cul-de-sac and originally two names were chosen to reflect this – Kapu Place and Tarata Grove.

The process of subdividing the street was first begun in the late 1960s, however it was only granted Taranaki County Council approval in 1980. Council documents show that it was decided two names for such a small number of sections was “unnecessary”. The name Kapu Grove was chosen by the developers, Beazley Homes.

While most of the properties

Hughson Place.

Hughson Place 

Last century the Hughson family was well known in Taranaki business circles. It owned several stores around the province, trading in a variety of goods and services. In 1919, Robert Hugh Hughson decided to operate a drapery store from their premises in Opunake.

The business was a great success from the start. Hughson was able to expand the store and take over other businesses. With his profile in the town greatly enhanced, he gradually became more active in various public roles.

In 1937 Opunake became a borough

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