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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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Kowhai Street.

Kowhai Street 

Kowhai Street is located in Strandon, one of the original streets in an early subdivision known as Chilman’s Estate.

The ambitious development comprising 46 sections was surveyed and advertised for sale in 1899. The auction was organised by Newton King Ltd. on behalf of the beneficiaries of the estate of the landowner, the late Richard Chilman.

The sales pitch promised that this was “without exception the finest piece of land for building sites near New Plymouth and has the advantages of the Fitzroy Bus passing hourly”. Nine

Fyson Place.

Fyson Place 

Fyson Place is a short cul-de-sac on the right as you head south out of Hāwera, just past the McDonalds store. 

Albert Kemball (Kem) Fyson was born in Gisborne in 1893, the son of a local postman. Kem was working as a bank clerk when the First World War broke out and served with the New Zealand Engineers. He fought at Gallipoli and was badly wounded the following year while fighting in France. In June 1916 Fyson suffered severe wounds to his right arm and

East Road.

East Road

‘Go west young man’ was a common refrain in America in the 1860s. In Taranaki in the later 1800s, a young man might have been urged to ‘go east’. The main road out of Stratford, heading east, is named after the direction it takes the traveller.

East Road was first planned in 1882 when a survey party laid out the line of a road through to Ongarue. A bridge was built over the Kahouri Stream in 1885 and by 1889 the dirt road was cut through to

Cloten Road.

Cloten Road

For well over a century the residents of Cloten Road were unaware that their street name was spelt incorrectly. In 1996 former mayor Leo Carrington alerted the Stratford District Council to the mistake.

Cloton Road (as it was first known) appears on early maps of the Stratford settlement. On 31 August 1878 sections in the new township where put up for auction and it was reported that the first section sold was number 43, on the corner of Cordelia Street and Cloton Road.

From this date onward

Brassey Street sign.

Brassey Street sign

Brassey Street in Waverley was named after career soldier Major Willoughby Brassey.

Born in London in 1817, the son of the High Sherriff of Essex, Willoughby Brassey served in the Royal Navy until 1839 before joining the East India Company, taking part in military action in various locations including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Iran. In the late 1850s he immigrated to New Zealand where he married Elizabeth Munhal in 1861 and had five children. She died in 1870 and he later married Frances Slattery, with whom he had four

Elliot Street sign.

Elliot Street sign

Elliot Street, at the eastern end of Waitara, was named after early settler John Elliot. It is spelled with one ‘t’ on the sign but often (mistakenly) with two ‘t’s elsewhere.

John’s parents Peter and Anne married in Cornwall in 1840 and immigrated to New Plymouth on the ship Amelia Thompson the following year. The young couple farmed in Westown and John, their first child, was born in 1843. John was still a teenager when the Taranaki Wars broke out but was allowed to join the mounted volunteers and took

Skinner Road.

Skinner Road 

Skinner Road, inland of Stratford, was named after the Taranaki surveyor and historian William Henry Skinner.

The northern end of the road was settled in the 1880s. In those early years the main employment in the area involved bush felling and sawmilling. Slowly the land was converted to pasture and farming predominated.

In 1897 a bridge was built across the Pātea River, providing access to East Road and Stratford. Five years later the Skinner Road train station, a flag-stop, was opened on the Stratford to Ōhura line.

Pebble Beach Court.

Pebble Beach Court 

Pebble Beach Court is another of the golf-themed street names in the Links subdivision of Bell Block. 

Pebble Beach Golf Links is a public course on California’s Monterey Peninsula and has long been considered one of the best and most spectacular in the world. It was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant and opened on 22 February 1919. 

The course is one of three that hosts the annual AT & T Pro-Am, a tournament on the PGA tour with two rounds

Kingsford Smith Drive.

Kingsford Smith Drive 

The name of the famous Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith (1897-1935) will be familiar to many readers. In 1928 his aviation feats, including the first trans-Pacific flight and the first trans-Tasman crossing, brought him worldwide acclaim. 

Kingsford Smith and his co-pilot Charles Ulm guided their Fokker Trimotor, the Southern Cross, over the Tasman arriving at Wigram in Christchurch on 11 September 1928. A crowd of 30,000 flocked to the aerodrome to greet the airmen at the end of their historic flight, which took a

Keats Place street sign.

Keats Place street sign

Keats Place runs off Tiverton Crescent in Whalers Gate and was formed by Beazley Homes Limited in the late 1970s. Kipling Drive and Byron Place were created at the same time, both streets named after famous British writers.

The English Romantic poet John Keats, whose surname derives from the Ole English word “cyta” meaning kite (bird of prey), was born in London in 1795. His parents were both dead by the time he was 14 and Keats was apprenticed to a surgeon, but he gave up his medical studies

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