07 April 2014

Your Town's Street Name History

Are you interested in the origins of some of the street names in your town? Have your children ever asked "Why did they call it 'whatever' Street?"

Rotorua (Bay of Plenty, N.Z.) people interested in this are lucky - in 1999 our own author Philip Andrews published a book which traced the origins of all street names then existing.

It was a really handy "go to" book for me, when I became interested in researching street names in the Rotorua suburb of Fenton Park, an area which in the Second World War was the site of an RNZAF air field, training pilots who would go on to fly and fight over Europe.

Visit the Book Council's Profile of Philip Andrews at which you'll see other, more recent titles. Sadly, this book survives only in libraries, being out of print.



Masterton (Wairarapa, N.Z.) was equally lucky to have research done on its street names by Masterton author/archivist Gareth Winters.

It always made me chuckle, that the longest street in Masterton began its existence named Short Street, until at two intersections it acquired three names. The shortest part was left with Short Street as its name, the "middle-sized" section (in the middle) was renamed Intermediate Street (for the Masterton Intermediate School sited along it), and the longest section was renamed Hillcrest Street.

(I always thought they could have named it for Councillor Ricky Long, calling it Long Street. But I guess no one else has my sense of humour)
The book's details:


  • : 9780958205306
  • : Wairarapa Archive
  • Available $22-00


  • No matter where you live, I'll bet someone had researched your towns street names' origins.
    One town had assistance from intermediate school (NZ Years 7 & 8) pupils in trawling through archived material to discover their town's streets' origins.

    It is fascinating way to learn about your town's history, and archivist authors such as Winters and Andrews are treasures indeed.

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