Topic: Mission Street (TDN 27/09/2014)

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Mission Street 

Mission St is a short street in Moturoa, off South Rd between Bayly Rd and St Aubyn St.

Herbert Mullon wrote a history of the Grey Institute lands. Mission St, he says, was formed when the trustees of the Grey Institute made a subdivision of the mission lands. The hill, known as Mission Hill, was the site of Pukehe Pa.

Archaeologist Ivan Bruce has investigated the site, and found evidence of ring ditches, indicating a fortified pa site. Unfortunately, its pre-European heritage had been heavily damaged.

There are two buildings that are referred to as the Mission House; the one next to the small church on present-day St Aubyn St is well known. The other building on Pukehe was more widely called the Grey Institute. A picture from 1864, attributed to the painter Arden, shows the Mission House in its current location with the Institute on Pukehe Hill.

Street names in the area have changed too. Portland Rd and Gervase St have become Breakwater Rd and Lawry St, while part of Great South Rd has become St Aubyn St.

Frederic Carrington's map of 1844 shows a track from Hine St to the current location of the Mission House with another track leading to the hill we now refer to as Mission Hill.

The missionary John Whitley moved into the building at Mission Hill in 1857, and lived there until his death in 1869 at Pukearuhe, the northern outpost of the Taranaki Settlement. His wife had recently sailed to Auckland, and he had "watched from the Mission House atop Mission Hill".

The purchase of the 100 acres was made on behalf of the Wesleyan missionaries by Edward Meurant and was signed by local chiefs "Edward Puke" and "Poarama". The document describing the purchase is held in Puke Ariki archives.

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