East Porirua Signpost Stories

"Anyone who believes you can't change history has never tried to write his memoirs."

- David Ben Gurion.

Signpost Stories was an exhibition at Pataka Museum from October 2004 to January 2005 which explored the history behind, and the meanings of the names of the streets, avenues, lanes and groves of Porirua City. Follow this link to find out more information about Pataka's Signpost Stories Exhibition.

East Porirua's Signpost Stories

Signpost stories of Ascot Park

This section gives the meaning of other street names in Ascot Park.

Advance Place – Known as The Black Demon, Advance won the Wellington Cup in 1903 breaking a record time with his first start in two years.

Almora View – Almora was trained at Gisborne by W.D. Turnbull and won the Wellington Cup in 1951 in a dead heat with Prawns.

Beaumaris Crescent – Beaumaris won the N.Z. Derby in 1949 in record time, then became the first three-year-old in fifty years to win the Wellington Cup in 1950. Beaumaris then went on to win the Auckland Cup.

Beauzami Crescent – Jockey Grenville Hughes rode Beauzami to a win in the N.Z. Cup in 1963 beating Sybeau by a length and a half.

Caduceus Place - A pacer known as the Mighty Atom. Despite five attempts Caduceus failed to win a N.Z. Cup but after breaking several track records, in 1953 Caduceus managed to win the N.Z. Derby for trotting.

Calibrate Street - Won the N.Z. Cup in 1950.

Carbine Place – Carbine won 33 of his 43 starts and was one of the greatest racehorses Australia has known. Carbine won the Melbourne Cup in 1890 by two and a half lengths.

Conclusion Street – Conclusion won the N.Z. Cup in 1952.

Coventry Close - This name was chosen by the Housing Corporation and did not relate to a New Zealand Cup winner. Coventry won the U.S. Preakness Stakes in 1925.

Dalray Place – Dalray, named after its owner’s children, Dallas and Raymond, won the N.Z. Derby in 1951 and then went on to win the Melbourne Cup.

Desert Gold Street - Desert Gold had 19 consecutive victories, an Australasian record. The horse’s winning streak with jockey J. O’Shea lasted from May 1915 to April 1917. Desert Gold also won the 1915 N.Z. Derby and Oaks.

Doncaster Terrace - Doncaster is a race course north of London, which has been used since 1595. Doncaster was also the name of a racehorse who won the 1873 English Classics. This street was named by the Housing Corporation.

Excellency Terrace - Won the N.Z. Cup in 1949 with an exciting dash from the back of the field on the home straight.

Idaho Place – Jockey Jack Garth rode three-year-old Idaho to a win in the N.Z. Derby in 1954.

Limerick Grove – Limerick was trained by Fred Jones and won 29 races including a dead heat. He was accidentally killed in his prime in the 1920’s.

Mainbrace Street - This horse had 17 consecutive victories, but had to be retired due to severe cramps caused by a blocked artery in one of his legs. He did not race for any major cups.

Passive Grove - Passive, ridden by jockey Bill Broughton, won the N.Z. Derby in 1956 by five lengths from Fuel.

Red Crest – Trained by Jack Winder, Red Crest won the Wellington Cup in 1966.

Sasanof View - Won the Melbourne Cup in 1916.

Sombrero View - Won the Wellington Cup in 1957.

Stipulate Place - Won the N.Z. Cup in 1962 and the Auckland Cup in 1963.

Syntax Place – The chestnut colt Syntax won the N.Z. Derby in 1955.

Toporoa View - Trained by Tommy Smith, Toparoa, a seven-year-old gelding won the Melbourne Cup by three quarters of a length in 1955. Previously the horse had only won four races.

Yemen Place – Yeman won the Auckland Cup in 1956 and then two years later took the Wellington Cup.

Photo of the horse Syntax.
Photo: National Racing Museum of New Zealand.
Photo of the horse Desert Gold.
Desert Gold.
Photo: National Racing Museum of New Zealand.

Signpost stories of Cannons Creek

This section gives the meaning of other street names in Cannons Creek.

Aberfeldy Street - After a ship Captain McGregor commanded in the area from about 1830.

Astrolabe Street – The French explorer Dumont D’Urville’s ship.

Dumont Place - The French explorer Dumont D’Urville.

D’Urville Street - The French explorer Dumont D’Urville.

Flora Street - A 42 ton schooner named Flora McDonald built at Porirua Point by James Walker (Snr) in 1850. In 1851 she sailed from the Chatham Islands and was never heard of again.

Justine Street - A French Warship serving in the area during the 1840’s.

Levant Street - Ship that brought the 58th and 65th Regiments to Porirua.

Sievers Grove - Early settlers family in Porirua. Their farm was taken by the Crown for State Housing.

Surprise Place - After a trading ship Captain McGregor commanded in the area during the 1830s.

Tavern Lane - Named for the upper Tavern.

HM Ships

The following streets were all named after H.M. ships which were engaged about the west coast during the early 1840’s and during the land wars.

Birman Place – An early immigrant ship.

Calliope Crescent – 26 gun frigate under the command of Captain Stanley. After his arrest at Taupo Pa, Te Rauparaha was held and taken to Auckland on board the Calliope.

Castor Crescent – Built in 1832, HMS Castor came to New Zealand where some of its crew were killed fighting at Ruapekapeka Pa in 1846.

Dido Street – HMS Dido arrived in New Zealand from the East Indies in June 1847 relieving HMS Castor which then returned to England.

Driver Crescent – Built at Portsmouth in 1840, the HMS Driver was a brig-rigged paddle steamer that in 1846 carried the Maoris arrested at Taupo Pa around the coast to Wellington.

Esk Place - The commander of HMS Esk, was Captain Fane Charles Hamilton, who was killed at the battle of Gate Pa and gave his name to the city of Hamilton.

Falcon Street – HMS Falcon took part in the Land Wars in New Zealand from 1866-67.

Fantame Street – (Mis-spelt) built in 1839, HMS Fantome visited Mana Island in 1852 at which time efforts to land the ship’s surgeon on shore to tend a sick man resulted in the drowning of six seamen.

Fawn Street – HMS Fawn left Australia in July 1860 for Auckland, carrying troops of the 12th Regiment. The ship visited Auckland again in 1862.

Hazard Grove – The 18 gun HMS Hazard arrived in Auckland in July 1844 under the command of Captain Bell.

Iris Grove – HMS Iris was the first British warship to be constructed from steel was launched at Pembroke Dockyard 12th April 1877.

Miranda Street – A British warship stationed in New Zealand waters during the land wars.

Niger Street - In March 1860, Captain Peter Cracroft of H.M.S. Niger with a force of sixty men and a 24-pounder rocket-tube, landed and captured the Maori pa at Waireka, Taranaki,

Warspite Avenue – HMS Warspite passed through Cook Strait in 1827 at which time it visited Mana Island. For a short time during this period the island was known as Warspite Island.

English Counties

The following Cannons Creek streets were named after English Counties:

  • Bedford Street
  • Berkshire Grove
  • Cheshire Street
  • Cornwall Crescent
  • Cumberland Grove
  • Derby Place
  • Dorset Grove
  • Devon Place
  • Gloucester Street
  • Hampshire Street
  • Hereford Street
  • Leicester Street
  • Lincoln Grove
  • Norfolk Grove
  • Northumberland Street
  • Somerset Place
  • Suffolk Place
  • Wiltshire Place
  • Worchester Place
  • York Place.

Towns in the United Kingdom

The following Cannons Creek streets were named after Towns in the United Kingdom:

  • Cardiff Crescent
  • Carnavon Crescent (correct spelling Caernarvon)
  • Durham Street
  • Swansea Street

Greek and Roman Mythology

The following Cannons Creek streets were named after characters in Greek and Roman mythology:

Adonis Lane - A god loved by Aphrodite and Persephone, who was the goddess of the land of the dead. Despite being warned by his passionate admirer Venus, Adonis was killed by a wild boar.

Ajax Lane - Son of Telamon, king of Salamis, he was second only to Achilles among the Greek heroes in the Trojan War.

Apollo Lane - God of the sun, music, poetry, prophecy, agriculture, and pastoral life, and leader of the Muses.

Bellona Place - Roman goddess of war, popular among the Roman soldiers. She accompanied Mars in battle, and was variously given as his wife, sister or daughter.

Electra Lane - Electra was daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. Her hatred of her mother for murdering her father and her desire for revenge made her the subject of tragedies by the Greek dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.

Gemini Lane - In Greek mythology, the stars in the constellation of Gemini were known as the Heavenly Twins, referring to the very bright suns Castor and Pollux.

Ixion Lane - The son of Phlegyas and King of the Lapithae in Thessaly who was punished for his wickedness by being tied to a perpetually revolving wheel of fire.

Juno Lane - In Roman mythology, the queen of heaven and wife of Jupitor.

Leander Street - Leander was a youth of Abydos, a town on the strait which separates Asia and Europe. On the opposite shore, lived the maiden Hero to whom he swam each night until he was drowned in a storm.

Mentor Lane - Son of Alcimus who during the absence of his friend Odysseus, Mentor was entrusted with the care of his household and his son Telemachus. Mentor’s name is proverbial for a faithful and wise adviser.

Orion Lane - A hunter in Greek mythology, standing with uplifted club. Three bright stars represent his belt and three fainter stars aligned south of the belt represent his sword.

Remus Lane - With his infant brother Romulus he was set adrift on the flooded Tiber to be found by a she-wolf who suckled them. The brothers eventually founded Rome but following a dispute between them Remus was slain.

Triton Place - Son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, Triton was a Herald of Neptune.

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Porirua East Street Names

This section gives the meaning of street names in East Porirua.

Bromley View - Mr Bromley owned land and kept an accommodation house at Porirua in 1847.

Brown Grove - A well known bush man in 1850. He owned a small property near the area now developed for State Housing.

Champion Street - Mr Champion was the owner of a wharf which was erected near the mouth of a Kenepuru Stream.

Chew Place - In 1840 Mr Chew owned land in the area, and for some years had a timber mill operating on the property. When the land was cleared, he farmed his land.

Gear Terrace - Mr Gear was a butcher, and started the Gear Meat Co. He built and lived at Okowai – the Gear Homestead.

Herlihy Lane – A local pioneer family. Mr Herlihy was in the British Navy and had served in the Boer War.

Jackson Terrace - Jackson operated the first ferry service across Porirua Harbour, prior to this he was a whaler operating near Porirua during the 1830s/1840’s

King Crescent - Mr King operated a timber mill in the district in 1860.

McKillop Street - Midshipman McKillop is said to have arrested Te Rauparaha at Taupo Pa and taken him back to HMS Driver. McKillop had earlier been involved in skirmishes with Te Rangihaeata on the Pauatahanui Inlet.

Maher Place - Mr Meagher was an early settler in the area. His son Tom changed the spelling of the family name to Maher.

Martin Street - Miss Rita Martin was Post Mistress at Porirua from 1915 for 27 years.

Mepham Place - Mr Mepham lived for some time at Sandy Point while on construction work for the Manawatu Railway Co. When this work was completed he was a roadman for the Makara County Council for over thirty years.

Mexted Crescent - Mr Ernest Mexted of Arawhata Street owned part of the land used for State Housing.

Mitchell Grove – John Mitchell was an early settler who arrived in 1840 on the Mariner. He died in 1853 leaving his wife Helen and a son John. Helen died 13 years later.

Mungavin Avenue - H.R & R.H Mungavin farmed what is now known as the Aotea Block and lived in the nearby homestead, now the Mungavin Blues Restaurant.

Historic photo of Mungavin House.
Mungavin House.
Photo: Pataka Museum Collection, at Porirua Library ref A.1a.20.

Ricks Road - After a staff member of the Ministry of Works at Porirua during the State Housing development era.

Stevens Crescent - Land owner and sawmiller in about 1850. There was a timber mill operating on Mr Stevens’ land to the east of the State housing area. When the mill closed down the land had been cleared, allowing Mr Stevens to farm.

Thompson Grove - Early settler who owned land to the southeast of the housing area.

Treloar Terrace - After a staff member of the Ministry of Works at Porirua during the State Housing development era.

Windley Street - Ernest and Tom Windley farmed land now part of the State Housing area. Ernest was a Councillor on the Makara County Council for many years.

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Ranui Heights Street Names

This section gives the meaning of street names in Ranui Heights.


These Ranui Heights streets were all named after trees:

  • Apple Terrace
  • Ash Grove
  • Japonica Crescent
  • Lancewood Grove
  • Ribbonwood Place
  • Spruce Grove

Other Names

Arawhata Street - Arawhata, bridge. Access to Arawhata Street used to be by way of a bridge crossing the Porirua Stream.

Awatea Street - Awatea, daylight

Ernest Street - Named after Ernest W. Mexted.

Gillies Place - After a local family.

Huanui Street - Huanui, road or path.

Marua Place - Marua, pit or cavern.

Quinn Grove - Maiden name of Rose Mexted, the wife of Ernest W. Mexted.

Rose Street - Rose Mexted

Photo of Rose and Ernest Mexted.
Rose and Ernest Mexted.
Photo: Pataka Museum Collection, at Porirua Library ref P.2.309.

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Waitangirua Street Names

Union Steamship Company

Virtually all of the street names in Waitangirua are named after ships owned by the Union Steamship Company.

Albion Street - Built in 1863 at Greenock. Was in the Union fleet from 1878 – 1883. The Albion sank inside Sydney Harbour Heads following a collision with the collier Kanahooka.

Arahura Crescent - Built in 1905 in Dumbarton, Scotland for a coastal passenger service, the Arahura was withdrawn in 1949 and partly dismantled before being sunk by RNZAF Mosquito bombers in Cook Strait.

Photo of the Arahura.
Photo: Museum of Wellington City and Sea

Button Lane - The first building in this industrial area was a button factory.

Commerce Crescent - Self-explanatory.

Corinna Street - Built 1882 in Glasgow. Was finally laid up in Wellington in 1930 and dismantled then the hull was sunk in Cook Strait 5 miles south of Turakirae Heads.

Photo of the Corinna.
Photo: Museum of Wellington City and Sea

Kaituna Street - Built in 1904 at Sunderland in Scotland it had several owners before being captured by the Japanese at Tsingtao in 1941. It was sunk the following year near Kominase Lighthouse in Japan following a collision with another vessel.

Kalingo Street - Built in 1927 at Port Glasgow. It was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine in January 1943 about 110 miles east of Sydney on a passage to New Plymouth.

Photo of the Kalingo.
SS Kalingo.
Photo: Museum of Wellington City and Sea.

Kokiri Crescent - There were two vessels of this name, the second one being built in 1951 at Leith in Scotland. In 1968 it was sold and renamed and then was lost in typhoon Elaine in 1971 on passage to Hong Kong.

Komata Grove - There were three vessels named Komata. The third one was built in 1947 at Glasgow. It was sold and renamed four times before being sold to a Taiwanese ship-breaker’s yard in 1977.

Loongana Street - Built in 1904 in Dumbarton, this ship was the first in the Union fleet to have steam turbine propulsion. It was eventually scrapped in Japan in 1936.

Louisa Grove - Origin unknown

Marne Grove - Origin unknown

Natone Street - Built 1900 in Sydney, the Natone was one of the Union Company’s tugboats. It was sold by the company in 1947 and then later abandoned derelict near Havelock in 1955.

Niagara Street - Built in 1913 at Clydebank. Sunk by a mine off Bream Head, Whangarei, in June 1940 on a passage from Auckland to Vancouver.

Photo of the Niagara.
SS Niagara.
Photo: Museum of Wellington City and Sea.

Omapere Street - Built 1882 in Dumbarton, Scotland. Was wrecked one mile east of Miner’s Head on Great Barrier Island in October 1894 en-route from Sydney to Auckland.

Penguin Grove - Built 1864 in Glasgow, was wrecked off Cape Terawhiti in February 1909 0n a passage from Picton to Wellington.

Photo of the Penguin.
SS Penguin.
Photo: Museum of Wellington City and Sea.

Waihemo Street – Built in 1944 at Vancouver. Owned by six companies as well as the Union Company and was finally sold to a Taiwan shipbreaker for demolition in 1972.

Waihora Crescent – Built 1907 at Newcastle. Sold and renamed Tairyu Maru then eventually sunk by US Army aircraft in February 1944.

Warspite Avenue – See Cannons Creek.

Westmeath Street – Built 1903 in West Hartlepool. Sold in 1925 and renamed Nordico then eventually laid up in Genoa in 1930 before being scrapped in 1932.

Photo of the Westmeath.
SS Westmeath.
Photo: Museum of Wellington City and Sea.

Continue to Historic Photos of Porirua East or return to East Porirua.