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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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H.H. Rice (1917).

Harkness Rice Way

Harkness Rice Way leads to a small subdivision off Plymouth Road in Ōakura. It is named in honour of Private Harkness Henry Rice who was killed in action on 12 October 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele.

Harkness Rice was born in Ōamaru on 2 June 1879, the son of John and Emily Rice. At the time of his enlistment with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1916 he was working as a clerk for the Customs Department in Dunedin.

According to his war record held

Hurford Road.

Hurford Road

Hurford Road was named for a family of Ōmata settlers in the 1850s.

John Hurford and his wife Ann arrived in New Plymouth on the Blenheim in 1842, with their baby daughter who was born in Wellington Harbour as the ship made its way to Taranaki.

The young family thrived in their new home. More children were born and John sold fresh butter every Saturday at the local market. Keen to acquire a bigger farm, the Hurfords purchased a fifty-acre section of bush in Ōmata around 1854. They were obviously well-known

Essex Street.

Essex Street

Essex Street in Vogeltown was named in 1958 after one of the first six ships to bring British settlers to Taranaki.

Under the command of Captain Henry Oakley, the Essex sailed from Plymouth on 3 September 1842, carrying 115 passengers. Most were agricultural labourers and miners but there were also wheelwrights, shoemakers, seamstresses and domestic servants plus two Aubrey brothers who gave their occupation as “gentleman”. The majority had their fares paid by the Plymouth Company, after completing the requisite application papers and providing character references.

Some secured jobs for themselves

Otakeho - St John's.

Many people will wonder if Campbell Road in Otakeho is Taranaki’s shortest road. Plans show it was originally intended to be much longer.

The first survey of the Otakeho district was conducted in 1878. A small settlement was mapped out. It shows the road extending from near the coast, through the main road to a point north of the town, where it turns right and intersects with Auroa Road.

It was named after George (Geordie) Campbell, who lived in a small house there. He was a veteran of the Crimean War who later came to South Taranaki and worked as

Sarten Street.

Sarten Street

Sarten Street in Waitara was named after the first colonial soldier to be killed in the New Zealand Wars. John Edmund Sarten was just 22 when he joined the Mounted Volunteers, composed of local civilians, and he died during the attack on Te Kohia pā at Brixton, nicked the “L” pā by European settlers because of its distinctive shape.

Sarten was the eldest son of wheelwright Edmund and his wife Lucy, who arrived in New Plymouth from Dorchester on the ship William Bryan in March 1841. Little John, his grandparents and

Pike Place.

 Pike Place

Reginald “Randy” Pike was born on 5 April 1876 in Norwich. He immigrated to Hamilton in the 1890s, where he managed a branch of Grey and Menzies, the beverage makers who went on to invent Lemon & Paeroa. Well known in the Waikato for his sporting prowess, Pike enlisted to fight in the Boer War in 1902 with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles. Wounded and sent to England, he was the only Kiwi patient at the Royal Victoria Hospital during a visit by Queen Alexandra, earning him a personal interview.


Burning papa for road metalling - Whangamomona Saddle 1906.

Marco School, near Whangamomona, opened in 1898 with 37 pupils. Before the school’s location was decided, a survey of the area was done by Lewis Sladden. To him went the honour of naming the road the school is on. His choice had an unusual inspiration.

Lewis Coster Sladden (1867-1939) was born in Christchurch. He was educated in England from the age of 15 and on his return to New Zealand joined the Land and Survey Department in Christchurch. Later he came to Taranaki and worked as a surveyor.

Encouraged by favourable government policies in the 1890s, land in eastern Taranaki

Antonio Street .

Antonio Street 

Most of Stratford’s streets are named after characters from the works of Shakespeare. Antonio Street also acknowledges, in a small way, the name of the prominent citizen who once owned land in the area.

Florence Anthony Tyrer was the headmaster of Stratford’s primary and high schools for a period of thirty years from the early 1890s. He was highly regarded in the community, seen as a good influence on the young people of the town.

As well as his successful teaching career, Tyrer also carefully invested his

Tisch Avenue.

Gustave Tisch (Puke Ariki collection)

                                                            Puke Ariki collection (A66.389)

Tisch Avenue runs off Bulkeley Terrace down to the Todd Energy Aquatic Centre and the Kawaroa Park playground. It was named after Gustave Gardener Tisch, Mayor of New Plymouth from 1908 until his death in 1911. 

Born in Christchurch to German parents, Tisch moved to Taranaki in 1878. He took over the Stratford Hotel, then a pub called the Sawmillers’ Arms at Eltham. In 1882 he purchased the Beach House Hotel on St Aubyn Street in New Plymouth, renaming

DP2418 Eltham Borough.

Conway Road 

Conway Road was marked out as part of the original Eltham town plan in 1884.

The dip in the road where it runs past today’s swimming baths was once known as ‘Pig’s gully’. Sometimes wild pigs were trapped and shot there. In about 1882 mill workers in the area built a bridge over the stream.

As access to the town improved, Eltham’s population expanded beyond the initial town limits. The western end of the road was surveyed for housing in the 1890s. By 1906 land was being

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