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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1, 1966

The Nelson Names

The Nelson Names


The City name. This was decided upon by the N.Z. Company. The Company's second settlement was to be called after England's greatest seaman, just as the first had been called after the greatest soldier, Wellington (after a false start as Britannia).

Trafalgar Street, North and South:

Named after the famous victory and very aptly so.

In the early days it tapered off into a swamp at its northern end towards Halifax Street and had to be built up considerably there with a large ditch running beside the embankment to carry away the water from all Trafalgar Street.

Trafalgar Road is the continuation over the Maitai Bridge.

As the main street of the town it has been used as a centre of gatherings and festivities on many occasions, especially upper Trafalgar Street towards the Cawthron Steps, but I fancy the City Traffic Officers would become rather speechless if someone roasted an ox in the street or dug a hole at the Bridge Street interesection for the erection of a greasy pole, as had been done over the years. I doubt whether they would even look with favour on the siting of huge gas standards in street intersections like the one which blew up so page 10spectacularly at the Hardy Street intersection killing an innocent citizen who was looking for the leak with a match.

Upper Trafalgar Street has a different air, being mainly residential. It has little side streets, Trafalgar Avenue by the Girls' College; Melrose Terrace after the house of that name, the little road leading up to Fairfield, along to a boarding house for Nelson College; and Examiner Street leading to Rutherford Street, and named after Nelson's early newspaper which was once printed here.

Trafalgar Square:

Formed by the roads round Church Hill and joining the two parts of Trafalgar Street. Wakefield probably mentions it in a diary entry for January 19th, 1842:

"Read the burial service over Wm. Straith who was buried in a reserve beyond the principal square or parallelogram."

The square encloses Church Hill, felt from the beginning of the settlement to be the most suitable and fitting centre for the new town and chosen by Bishop Selwyn as the outstanding site for the Cathedral of Nelson. Many others also recognised the desirability of the site and the civic authorities can be commended for their polite but firm policy of removing surveyors' offices, forts, powder magazines, newspaper offices, gaols, hospitals and sundry other buildings from the Hill. Their aim, to create it a place of beauty, with its Cathedral surrounded by trees and lawns, its fine approach in the Cawthron Steps, and the inclusion of a few worthy memorials of civic value is marred only by the choice of their latest erection.

In the early drawings it was a bare hill but Domett and Poynter, among others, showed their civic spirit by planting trees there. We can share in their indignation over the following:

"Reward Offered.

Provincial Secretary's Office, August 8, 1862. £5 Reward—Two young trees (cypress and pepper-mint gum) having been stolen from the Church Hill……

Alfred Greenfield, Chief Clerk."

Nile Street East, Nile Street West:

Named after the Battle of the Nile.

The two parts are separated by Church Hill but run from Rutherford Street along to the Cleveland Hills at the mouth of the Maitai Valley, after crossing the Brook and the Maitai twice. On early maps a continuation of the street ran up the eastern hill for some distance as a narrow right of way but now the road stops just past Mill Street. The bridge across the Brook which runs diagonally across page 11the Tasman Street intersection was the scene of a fatal accident when it was being built.

Hardy Street:

Named after Nelson's favourite captain.

The street as originally planned ran from Waimea Street through the town, across the Maitai and along the side of the Botanics until it reached the Maitai again. Nowadays its runs from Vanguard Street to a point just past Pitt Street.

Vanguard Street:

Nelson's flagship at the Battle of the Nile.

St. Vincent Street:

Nelson's famous sea battle. It should be remembered that Sir John Jervis, was the Admiral in charge of the fleet at this battle and that he became Earl St. Vincent after the battle. Once it had a school at its lower end where Kirbys is today, the Toi-toi Valley School for Girls. This school had a peculiar habit of migrating, first to a position a little above the Globe Hotel and then on the other side of it at Haven Road corner as the Haven Road School, built about 1880. Then it continued its march seawards to Auckland Point School and I fancy it will not go beyond this. Rather, the population has increased at the top of the Valley where Victory School has been built.

Victory Square:

Nelson's flagship at the Battle of the Nile. In the sketch map drawn by Hobhouse in 1859 he does not show any streets in Toi-toi Valley—Vanguard or St. Vincent Streets or even Victory Square. He notes that Vanguard Street was not yet formed, but I wonder! The same map didn't show Milton Street at all at this time so perhaps it is well not to overemphasise its value.

Heights of Agamemnon:

Nelson was appointed to the Agamemnon in 1793. I can't find any trace of this name being used. It is now lost.

Copenhagen Mount:

The Battle of Copenhagen.

The name which caused some controversy among the Street Naming Committee and inserted as a result of a special motion. This area of six acres was at the head of Trafalgar Street South, and between Trafalgar Street, Van Dieman Street and Brougham Street. Older Nelsonians remember it as the Old Cemetery which has been closed for many years although many gravestones were still standing there. It was opened as a Cemetery when the Collingwood Cemetery page 12was almost closed and a letter in the Examiner at the time remarks: "The Provincial Government has duly notified for the public information that the fourth or fifth cemetery with which this city is now adorned is about to be opened for the reception of those whom it may concern." The writer was concerned about the state of the various cemeteries scattered about the town.

Today the area is Fairfield Park.

Collingwood Street:

Cuthbert Collingwood, afterwards Lord Collingwood and an Admiral, was one of Nelson's greatest friends.

A long street from Weka Street to Brougham Street and trying to climb further up the hill above Brougham Street as it did on the early maps. There are a number of old houses in upper Collingwood Street.

Fort Bastia, Fort Calvi, Aboukir Battery:

Named after Nelson's battles. At Calvi on the north-west coast of Corsica, Nelson lost an eye, and Aboukir was the scene of the Battle of the Nile.

These forts were on Haulashore Island, called in those days Fifeshire Island although it was not then an island but the end of the Boulder Bank. Aboukir was near the cut in the Boulder Bank, Bastia was at the point nearest to Wakefield Quay and Calvi was on the seaward side.

Whether these forts were ever built I don't know and the only reference to them I can find is in a report to Colonel Wakefield by Wm. Fox, the Company's agent, on the visit to Nelson of Governor Fitzroy in February, 1844. He wrote: "Governor Fitzroy did not land until Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. On leaving the North Star (which was anchored in Bolton Roads), he was saluted by that vessel and the salute returned from the fort."

Arrow Rock:

Named after the ship Arrow and also named Fifeshire Rock because of that vessel's mishap when leaving the Port in February, 1842.

A striking rock in the old entrance to Nelson Haven surrounded by reefs which have been demolished by explosives at various times seemingly without much effect. It is much beloved by photographers and a certain colony of shags which spends part of the year in residence on it, and we are told by the geologists, that it is formed of angular blocks of syenite breccia.

Fifeshire Island:

Now Haulashore Island. Four of the Company's sections for the settlers were situated on Haulashore Island.

page 13

Aglionby Point:

That point on Haulashore, nearest to the mainland, and the scene of a wreck in 1843, when the schooner Henry was driven on to it. The name comes from a Director of the New Zealand Company—Henry A. Aglionby, MP., and also occurs as a street name in Wellington.

Other Directors were Molesworth, Gowan and Mangles but their names are not in use for Nelson street names although used elsewhere in the Province. An old painting of the Matukituki by Wm. Fox is labelled Aglionby Valley or River.

There was a Molesworth Street in early Nelson maps at the entrance to the Maitai Valley. It was replaced by Maitai Road which is, however, much nearer to the river than Molesworth Street which lay nearer the foot of the hills by the Scout Camp.

The Haven Cemetery:

This was the first Cemetery opened and lies off Whitby Road above the Cliffs on Rocks Road. It was little used and is now closed and under the control of the City Council. John Poynter, Nelson's First Lawyer, was buried there in 1868. His name is remembered in Poynter's Crescent and also in Rentone Street (a family name). The Cemetery was also called the Pioneers' Cemetery.

The first burial in Nelson was on Haulashore Island. Thomas Cresswell was buried upon Aglionby Point on November 23rd, 1841. The Haven Cemetery came next, and then there were the Collingwood Street Cemetery, the Old Cemetery in Trafalgar Street, a Quaker Cemetery on the West side of Rutherford Street and then the Wakapuaka Cemetery.

Cook's Bluff:

The Cliff above the Boat Sheds.

I have a note from Mrs. Shallcrass that Jago Cook lived above the Boat Sheds (Old Pilot Station). He was the first Commodore of the Sailing Club.

Mt. Rintoul:

It is a mountain well over 5000 feet almost due South of Nelson and used by Wakefield as a sailing mark. The name still exists. Robert Stephen Rintoul (1787–1858) founded and edited the London Spectator in 1828. He was a firm friend of Edward Gibbon Wakefield and a champion of the Wakefield colonising theories. He helped Wakefield to develop his theories and published them in his journal.

Probably given by Captain Wakefield in 1841.

Green Point:

This was on the hillside above the wharves above the junction page 14of Haven Road and Wakefield Quay but its exact position is now doubtful and the hillside there has been changed by excavations.

Hallowell Cemetery:

Known as the Collingwood Street Cemetery, the Old Burial Ground, and ran from Collingwood Street up to Shelbourne Street.

Hallowell, Admiral Sir Benjamin, was a captain under Nelson. He was a Canadian, a giant of a man, very strong and well liked by Nelson. He is said to have presented Nelson with a coffin made from the mainmast of L'Orient, which blew up at the Battle of the Nile. The coffin generally stood behind Nelson's chair. Nelson wrote, after the Battle of the Nile: "Had it not been for Troubridge, Ball, Hood and Hallowell, I declare I would have sunk under the fatigue of refitting the squadron."

It seems strange that such a hearty person as Hallowell should have a cemetery named after him but it was done and although the name is now lost and the cemetery closed, faint echoes of it still ring in the ears of the City Council at times.

The cemetery lay between Shelbourne Street and Collingwood Street behind what is now the Education Board offices but which formerly was the Nelson Girls' Central School. This same site was occupied in the 60's by an earlier building—the Nelson Gaol, with its memories of the Maungatapu Murderers whose graves lie there but, we are told, outside the fence of the cemetery. The cemetery area was divided into a Roman Catholic section in upper Shelbourne Street, a Lutheran section below this in Shelbourne Street and the remainder lying towards Collingwood Street and used commonly. The Roman Catholic section was too small for a church and burial ground and long before the cemetery was closed another Roman Catholic church was built on Sion Hill in Manuka Street. The Lutheran Church remained in Shelbourne Street for many years. There is a painting of it at Isel. The Collingwood Street Cemetery was closed in 1885 but some of the graves are still discernible and several gravestones and Cyprus trees still remain. The Jane Bond papers, especially No. 6, give quite a full account of the cemetery.

The Market:

This was the Meat Market at the Eel Pond or what is now the duck pond in the Queens Gardens.

Cattle Market:

This was on the east side of Waimea Road past Tukuka Street and is now partly used by the Pensioners' flats. It was on the boundary of the town, hence Boundary Road near it.

page 15

The Fish Market:

This name still exists on old maps. It stood near the Haven Road-St. Vincent Street corner near the Globe Hotel.

Haven Road.

It is still there but now that the harbour front has been reclaimed it has lost much of its character. It was commenced at the beginning of the settlement and work has never stopped on it up till our day. At first there were setbacks when the tide and storms washed the road away and even in the 60's we read of the Dun Mountaintain Railway Company putting its men to work to replace the road and track that had been washed away.

In 1842 workmen cutting down the hillside found a seam of coal which caused great excitement and a rush for sections there. In 1843 workmen digging near the Custom House to get material from the hillside, were caught in a slip and one of them, a man named Keats, was killed.

In June, 1849, the following appeared in the Examiner:

"Repairs of Beach Road

A subscription having been commenced for the repair of the beach road we beg to impress upon the public how desirable it is that all should contribute a share to this work, as, should those repairs not be executed immediately, the road will become impassable, and a future heavy tax on the inhabitants of the settlement be rendered necessary to reform it."

Next week's Examiner printed a list of subscribers, 21 of them who had promised over 20 guineas.

In the 60's the Dun Mountain Railway line was laid along the outer edge of the road and travel to the Port by bus soon became possible. The line was not removed until 1901 and after that other conveyances followed. At one time the 6d bus ticket also gave admission to the Marine Baths in Wakefield Quay.

In 1879 the Nelson-Foxhill line was extended to the Port and old photographs show the two lines crossing at Saltwater Bridge. The road was widened and the Government railway line followed the sea wall while the Port bus followed all the curves in the road leaving an area between the two lines which was filled in and planted with grass and trees, A stone sea wall faced with Adele stone replaced the older wooden wall and although the stone cost 8/- per yard labour was cheap, as it was done by convict labour.

Bridge Street:

How did this street get its name? I believe it was one of Stephens' descriptive names for, right from the start of the settle-page 16ment, a bridge was seen to be a necessity over the Tideway, and Wakefield took steps towards building one. Even in 1841 labourers were at work on the causeway and although the bridge itself was not built until late in 1842 everyone knew that it was coming. It was logical to think that the road on the other side of the bridge would be Bridge Street. Unfortunately the Saltwater Bridge is in Haven Road and does not touch Bridge Street.

Some think that the street was named after Sir Cyprian Bridge, an admiral in the British Navy.

Of course, too, at the other end of Bridge Street is the bridge over the Maitai, at Tasman Street, the Normandy Bridge.

Waimea Street (Weimea Street in the List):

This is the street we now call Rutherford Street. The road to the Waimeas led through this valley and it was natural to call the streets Waimea Street and Waimea Road but at the same time it was a little confusing. I suppose the Council were quite pleased to make the change to Rutherford Street. Waimea Street always ran from Ngatitama Street to Halifax Street as it does today but the lower end must have taken some building up above the tide and mud. In the last few years when the Public Works were laying foundations for their building next to the R.S.A. they found great difficulty in finding a solid rock to build on. Snow's Hill, where Waimea Road separates from Waimea (or Rutherford) Street is named after Wm. Snow, draughtsman, who came here in 1841.

In the second list of names three seem to have associations with Nelson—Burnham Thorpe, Santa Cruz Street and Bronte Street. Santa Cruz was the battle in the Canaries where Nelson lost an arm, and Burnham Thorpe was his birthplace but both these names fail to appear on the map.

Bronte Street:

Nelson was Duke of Bronte and spelt it that way, as I noticed in one of his letters in the Maritime Exhibition held here.

Tasman Street:

The Dutch explorer.

This street now includes what was Grattan Street as on the early maps Tasman Street ran only to Bridge Street and then from the river to the sea was Grattan Street. On Hobhouse's map of 1859 Grattan Street still existed.

Van Dieman Street:

Again in honour of the part the Dutch played in the discovery of New Zealand. The -a in Van Dieman has always been there.

page 17

The Street Naming Committee didn't include any French names in their lists. Perhaps they thought there were enough already.

Mill Street:

I don't know whose Mill it was but at that early date it would probably be a timber mill at the entrance to the Maitai Valley. On the early maps it was supposed to continue on the northern side of the Maitai but there is no trace of it.

Mount Street:

A descriptive name. Early photographs show very few houses here. On early maps a street ran across its southern end and joined it to Vanguard and Kawai Streets. This was North Esk Street which has now been placed along the side of Victory Square. Northesk is included in Kidson's List of Lord Nelson names.

Brook Street:

Descriptive name given from the first. It is a well known street in Nelson. In the early days there was a forest along one side of the Brook and Wakefield thought of placing the Botanical Gardens in the Valley. The area near Scotland Street and Seymour Avenue was known as Little Scotland. In 1845 one John MacDonald was charged with squatting on the Town Belt in Brook Street. The Dun Railway Depot was in upper Brook Street and the rocks surrounding the valley, the Brook Street Volcanics, are well known to New Zealand geologists.

Brougham Street:

A quiet residential street now, although the early mapper put a barracks at one end and a section for a House of Correction at the other.

The Brougham, barque, arrived in Nelson in March, 1842, with immigrants, although, like the Bolton, she was not new to New Zealand. Carrington, the Surveyor General to the New Plymouth Company, had sailed into Tasman Bay in the Brougham in January, 1841, when he was looking for a suitable site for New Plymouth.

The street will be named from the barque which was probably named after Lord Brougham, Lord Chancellor of England in Grey's Ministry of 1830.

Bolton Roads (and Bolton Square):

Named after the ship Bolton which arrived with immigrants on March 15th, 1842, after having anchored outside Boulder Bank in the spot known from that time as Bolton Roads. This was a deep hole and is somettimes called Bolton Deep.

There is also mention in early papers of Bolton Square which page 18must have been near the Suter Gallery and Normandy Bridge. It occurs in lists of jurors, e.g., William Field, sawyer, Bolton Square; or Henry Coombes, sawyer, Bolton Square.

There was also an Edward Bolton on the Fifeshire.

Auckland Point:

Named after the passengers from the Lord Auckland when they landed there in 1842.

Mary Anne Street:

Now spelt Mary Ann. The 1842 map shows Mary Ann Street running down hill from the corner of what is now Richardson Street and Whitby Road. A later map (1857) shows upper Richardson Street as Mary Ann Street. A Board of Works Report (1865) says: "The breastwork near Mary Ann Street has been damaged by the tide," and this would seem to refer to Richardson Street, but the correct location of this street has not yet been proved to the satisfaction of all historians.

The name was given from the ship but did not prove popular and later it was discarded because of objections from residents. However, it is in use again today as Mary Ann Lane (1963) between Fireshire Crescent and Stepneyville.

Scotland Street:

Probably named because of the Scottish families there. This area was known as Little Scotland from the beginning of the settlement; or possibly just a patriotic name.

Halifax Street:

Probably named after the English town although Wakefield had some connection with Halifax, Nova Scotia, while in the navy. He is said to have jumped overboard from his ship on two occasions to rescue seamen who had fallen into the water. Nelson also was in Canada in the 1780's—but I fancy the English town (or Lord) as it occurs in a group of British names in the third list.

On the old maps it ran further up the hill at the Botanics. The western end must have been a paper road for many years. Hob-house said, in 1859, that it was not formed, and in 1879, a ship, the Wakatu, was built in Bridge Street and launched in the water where Anzac Park is now. There must have been a free passageway for the ship from the Saltwater Bridge to the Port so it is hard to imagine Halifax Street running as far as Haven Road. The land on the south side of Halifax Street from Trafalgar Street to Haven Road was very swampy and there was little building there before the end of the Century.

page 19

Washington Road and Mount Vernon, the hill above it:

No one seems to know why these two names were chosen but someone evidently wanted to honour George Washington and his home. Captain Wakefield was present as a midshipman at the capture and burning of Washington in the American War of 1812 so perhaps he was sorry. But the name strikes a slightly odd note in the welter of loyal British names being given to the Nelson streets at that time. Perhaps just a little touch of liberalism that was said to be common among the settlers, like naming the streets of Murchison after the Parliamentary leaders of the English Civil War.

Russell Street:

Lord Russell, Secretary of State for the Colonies in Lord Melbourne's cabinet, did not like Wakefield's methods of land buying but he compromised and allowed them title to four times as many acres as they had laid out £'s in purchasing land. So it was policy to include his name in the list.

Stanley Crescent:

Lord Stanley followed Russell as Secretary of State for the Colonies, in Peel's Ministry. He also was not fully in agreement with the Company's dealings in land but allowed them some latitude. There is a paper road from the end of Stanley Crescent to Washington Valley but it was not formed.

Wellington Street:

Probably commemorates the Duke of Wellington or possibly the City of Wellington across the Straits.

The early surveyors drew the street boldly on the map running from the corner at Snow's Hill and cutting across the ends of Kawai Street, Mount Street and Gloucester Street before returning to Waimea Street almost On the line of the present Kerr Street. But the Town Board of Works gave it up and the formed road finished at Mount Street with a lane running down to Kerr Street.

Alton Street:

A town in Hampshire near Chawton, the home of Jane Austen and possibly given because one of the Company's labourers, Thomas Cresswell came from there. Cresswell died in November, 1841, and was buried on Fifeshire Island. Wakefield in a diary entry of November 22nd, 1841, records the death of Cresswell: "Thomas Cresswell departed this life at ½ past 8. He had been for some time in a hopeless state from a low fever. He was a well behaved, steady man and came from the neighbourhood of Alton near Hampshire."

The street is quite short but very interesting. It runs from page 20Manuka Street to Hardy Street and a short footbridge connects the two sides of the street but below this bridge is an old ford. If you look at Heaphy's painting of Nelson (1845) you will make out Alton Street in the distance by a line of posts which held up an elevated water race carrying water from the Brook at Manuka Street down the centre of the road to Hardy Street. The water was carried across Hardy Street to drop down into the Flour Mill and turn the water wheel. The mill occupied the site of the present Technical School, and the fluming carrying the water, keeping on the high side of Alton Street was elevated enough to allow traffic in Hardy Street to pass under it. The water then ran out the other side of the mill into the Eel Pond.

Judging by a letter in the Nelson Examiner of March 12th, 1853, the builders of the water race must have skimped a bit on the amount of clearance they allowed:


Would you allow me through the medium of your columns to advert what every person must look upon as a nuisance which exists in connexion with the Nelson Flour Mill. I allude to the lead which carries the water and in consequence the almost impassable state of the road under it. I say impassable, you certainly can get either over or under it, but if you chance to be riding or driving it is at your personal risk. The other day a young man was riding under the lead near the mill, and as he did not happen to lower his head in time, it came in contact with the timber work and he fell sensless from his horse….. Now this ought not to be. If private companies or individuals are allowed the privilege of constructing and keeping up such unsightly works as the one referred to they ought at least to be compelled to make them harmless to the inhabitants. Such things might be suffered some years ago, but in the advancing state of Nelson they should not.

I am,
Not a Constant Grumbler."

His letter had some effect for in 1862, after some litigation, the lead was lowered to street level when it was found that the working of the mill wheel was not much effected as it had always been a horizontal one.

As if this wasn't enough for Alton Street; the street had no sooner been cleared of this obstruction when another took its place—the Dun Mountain Railway line was constructed and ran down Alton Street from the Manuka Street Bridge into Hardy Street. The two constructions might even have overlapped in time.

After a false start in 1858 when an Act of the Provincial Council page 21permitted the building of a railway via Molesworth Street, Nile Street East, Tory Street and Milton Street from the Maitai Valley, the Dun Mountain Copper Company changed its mind and decided on a different route. They decided to go up Brook Street and were authorised to construct a railway from Albion Wharf, and running via Haven Road, Waimea, Hardy, Alton, Manuka and Brook Streets, across Manuka Road and then on to the Company's property.

The official oppening of this railway took place in February, 1862, when the first train left the Company's Yard in Brook Street and ran to the Port. The train consisted of eight wagons containing 16 tons of ore, the Nelson Brass Band and passengers, but we are not told how many horses were needed to pull it. The horse drawn trucks must have been a common sight in Nelson for the first year or so but after that the demand for chrome fell and the line was used to bring down only such mundane things as firewood, lime and slate. In 1866 all active operations ceased but the line was still there in Alton Street in 1872 when His Lordship the Bishop of Nelson in his buggy was in a serious collision with a wagon laden with iron rails for shipment.

There is a photograph in the Historical Society's collection showing a huge pile of firewood stacked in what I think is the playing grounds of the Central School in Alton Street. Probably this is firewood from the Dun as there is mention in the Jane Bond papers of the firewood being cut up in the School Grounds, by a saw worked by horse power.

The offices of the Dun Mountain Railway were in Alton Street and so also was the Nelson Observatory before it was shifted to the hill at Tahunanui above the Britannia Heights Domain.

Ngati Tuma Street:

Now Ngatitama Street. It is a small street nowadays, between Hampden Street and the end of Rutherford Street but on the 1842 map it ran along the back of the Boys' College and finished at the town boundary. Brunner Street is really the present name of the southern end of this street.

Ngatiawa Street:

This street also ran from Van Dieman Street to the town boundary, cutting through the College and Mental Hospital grounds but it does not exist as such.

The Ngatiawa and Ngatitama were Maori tribes v/hich came to Nelson in the 1828 Invasion and settled here. Naturally enough both names also occur in Wellington.

Manuka Street:

Spelt Manouka on the 1842 map. It ran from Collingwood page 22Street to the eastern hills and was supposed to run up the hill in a southerly direction to join Manuka Road. This road, on the maps, ran along the hillside above the Brook and is mentioned in the Dun Mountain Railway Act when the railway was supposed to cross it but it doesn't appear there today and may never have been formed. The Council has named a road above Cleveland Road by this name recently.

These Maori names for streets were probably some of the interesting names suggested by Stephens.

Maitai Road:

This road starts at the Maitai Bridge at the eastern end of Nile Street and follows the north bank of the Maitai. On the 1842 map the road was situated much further west in the town and ran from Trafalgar Street Bridge along the south bank of the Maitai until it reached Nile Street. Ajax Avenue, Riverside and Domett Streets are all made from the old Maitai Road. In a 1923 map this road south of the Maitai was called Milton Grove to match Shakespear Road which ran on the northern bank, and Domett Street was where Maitai Road runs today.

The name Maitai is supposed to come from one particular matai or mai (black pine) which grew on the bank of the river long ago.

Kafia Street:

The spelling has varied from Kafia to Kawhia and now to Kawai which seems to have little connection with the place name Kawhia. It probably recalls the port of Kawhia in South West Auckland from which cargoes of goats, pigs, salted pork, maize and wheat were shipped to Nelson probably from Maori farms. It figures in early shipping notes, "the cutter Lively for Kawhia," or "the schooner, Lady of the Lake, for New Plymouth and Kawhia." The port was probably well known in early Nelson.

Tepea Street:

In the 1842 map it was spelt Tipahi, and it has also been Tepahi. I cannot trace the origin of this name.

The nearest I can find in local history is the name of a Maori Te Pehi or Tippahu, who visited England in the 1820's. His daughter married Captain Blenkinsop, a whaler at Cloudy Bay, in 1831. The Captain is said to have bought the Wairau from the Maoris for a cannon, and had a deed to prove it. His widow sold the rights in this deed to Colonel Wakefield in 1839 and the New Zealand Company's rights to the land in the Wairau was partly based on this.

Towai-towai Street:

Our old friend Toi-toi under different spelling which has been retained in the spelling of a ship, the Motor Vessel Towai, which page 23figures in shipping notes. There are two native trees called the Towai also. Our spelling is toe-toe.

This street ran from the end of Hampden Street West up the valley to Britannia Heights but nowadays Hampden Street West has disappeared and Toi-Toi Street starts from Vanguard Street, fizzling out in a little zig-zag path before it reaches Britannia Heights.

Toi-toi Valley has been used to include all the valley between Mount Street and the Port Hills. There was an old Toi-toi Valley School for Girls where Kirby's freight yards are now. An old photograph shows all the girls out in St. Vincent Street swinging fearsome looking Indian clubs round their heads. The outside ranks are standing on the railway line but I don't suppose there was much traffic.

Toi-toi Valley always had a bad name for floods and mud right from the first day when the settlers struggled across the swamps there on the way to Church Hill. Not that the construction of Saltwater Bridge helped either for it seems to have had swing gates that wouldn't work. They either jammed open and let the tide pour in our else closed when a flood swept down the valley and made matters worse.

The Board of Works, the predecessor of the City Council, received many a rude letter from the irate settlers in Toi-toi Valley, like this one:

"To Millowners, Capitalists and Others.

The Sluice at Saltwater Bridge being again out of repair, and the tide pouring in like a mill-race, it is advisable to part with the same to any person wishing to erect a Flour Mill, Flax Mill or Saw Mill. The particulars as to title and what the present works in their unfinished condition have cost the public, may be had by applying at the Board of Works, Nelson."

Or this one:

"Toi-Toi Valley Roads.

From the alarming quantity of mud on the roads of this valley the inhabitants are fearful lest the railway will never bless them, on account of the whole accumulation threatening to become an impassable morass."

But the railway was built and ran for many a year until the last shocking day when the rails were removed. No longer could the inhabitants of the Valley see the train steaming sedately past with belated travellers pursuing it up St. Vincent Street and catching it about Victory Square. The Valley has sunk back into its peace until the new Motor Road is built and hordes of trucks and trailers disturb it again.

page 24

Emanu Street:

Emano Street. This street runs from Toi-toi Street near St. Vincent Street and finishes halfway up the hillside although in the early maps optimistic surveyors planned it to reach Britannia Heights.

The name is thought to be derived from Manu, a Maori chief who received compensation for land from Wakefield in 1842, but the first letter in his name is now held to be wrong. We see many such names in early documents—Epuna, Etako, Epiko, but the initial -e was put in because of a misunderstanding or possibly it represented Te. Nowadays the names are written Manu, Piko, as Piko Street.

Spelling in the early copies of the Examiner seems to be rather peculiar at times—besides the Maori names given in the Street Lists, there were others such as: Wairoo, Wauka-pa-wauka, Okititki, Wicato, but even names like poney, Gypsey, Woodhouse, Wodehouse, sweeds, warries, Cabool, and even goal for gaol occurred. Perhaps the settlers weren't so particular about spelling as we are.

Motuaka Street:

Now spelt with an -e. It still runs from Vanguard Street to the foot of the Grampians although the 1842 surveyors did not regard these hills as any barrier and took the road with one or two zig-zags to the top where it joined the Grampian Road.

The name Motueka was brought to New Zealand by the Maoris and originally it is supposed to come from—motu, a clump of trees, weka—the bird.

Takaka Street:

Has had various changes—Tutuki, and now is Tukuka which is a long way from Takaka. It ran to Britannia Heights on early maps but the council has given the scattered portions which appear on the hill above the Intermdeiate School, different names, such as Matipo Terrace. Takaka is supposed to be a name from the Society Islands and meant bracken.

Parere Street:

Probably represents the first firm crossing place above the swamps at the foot of Toi-toi Valley. I can't find the Maori meaning of the word; the nearest is Parera—a native duck, and until recently the name of a street in Stoke.

Waikatu Street:

Now Wakatu. The street did exist and on the first map ran from Halifax Street northwards to the mudflats beside the Maitai River, somewhere where Paruparu Road runs today. Wakatu was the Maori name for Nelson and is still kept in Wakatu Lane not far away.

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Totara Street Weka Street:

Both common names and still exist although when first named Weka Street did not extend beyond Tasman Street as mudflats covered the area beyond.

Moutere Road:

The name has now disappeared. On the original maps it ran east from Mill Street along the south bank of the Maitai towards Hanby Park. It meant an island in Maori, but may have had no special significance here.

Hampden Street:

Hampden Street East and West and Hampden Terrace ran across the whole valley and over the end of the hill at Mount Street but now the western end has been included in Toi-toi Street and Hampden Street finishes at Vanguard Street. On the first map it climbed the Grampians but now it finishes in Ronaki Terrace and Allan Street. For over a hundred years it has been associated with Nelson College and old writers like to tell of Rutherford and Littlejohn his master, strolling along the street of an afternoon, discussing scientific problems and pausing to make little diagrams in the dust to explain some point.

Franklin Street:

Named after the English patriot.

Now Franklyn. At the time of naming the street, Sir John Franklin was Governor of Tasmania, and visited Wellington with Lady Franklin in March, 1841. A ship calling at Nelson in 1843 was named the Sir John Franklin. The street name occurs in Wellington and Murchison but in all cases it is spelt with an -i and not a -y.

An alternative suggestion is the name of a governor of Nelson College but that seems a bit late.

Hastings Street:

An English name.

Pioneer Park which lies between Hastings and Washington Road was once a part of the Tideway, the two streets marking the edge of the dry land. By its shape this land was called the Triangle.

Cleveland Hills:

An English name, probably from the Yorkshire Hills and if you wish to strain your imagination to get names, Captain Cook's mother came from Cleveland, Yorkshire. Cleveland Street exists in Wellington but is much later and has no connection. Brooklyn in Wellington was cut up in 1888 and the streets were named after American page 26Presidents—hence Cleveland and Washington. (See Miss F. Irvine-Smith).

There is a Cleveland Terrace today on the hillside above the Maitai and this reminds us of the position of the Cleveland Hills which formerly included all that hill. There was a Cleveland Road until recently but that is now Mayroyd Terrace. The name has been retained in the locality but there have been several changes of the naming of the streets there.

Erin Street:

A British name and lies not far from Scotland Street, perhaps purposely. It used to run from Bronte to Manuka Street but has now crossed the Brook and runs from Manuka Street and merges into Brookside.

There was a ship called the Erin in early Nelson history. Domett visited Massacre Bay with Captain Wakefield in August, 1842, and found a man named Anderson building a ship called the Erin. According to Domett it was a schooner of about 120 tons and shaped rather like Noah's Ark but the shipping news in the Examiner of 10th December, 1842, says: "the schooner Erin, 20 tons, from Massacre Bay, master Sheridan, visited this Port." The size must have been pruned down a bit or else Domett's judgement wasn't too good. A vessel Erin was wrecked in 1844. The ship seems to be too late to have influenced the Street Naming Committee.

Gloucester Street:

An English name. Ran from St. Vincent Street to Wellington Street in the early maps and was on the edge of the Tideway. The convicts who helped to build Rocks Road used to march along Gloucester Street on their route from the gaol to Washington Valley and Pitts Hill.

Cambria Street:

A British name to fit in with Scotland and Erin. Always ran from the hills to Collingwood Street but the sections on the seaward side had their backs in the tide and the site of Elliott Street was mudflat.

Malvern Hills:

An English name. These appear on the 1842 map where the hills at the Botanics are today, but the name seems lost.

Grampian Hills:

A Scottish name. They are still there although the Grampian Road along the summit has never been formed.

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Roseberry Hill:

Earl of Roseberry, a prominent Liberal about this time. The name appears to be lost and was probably given to the hill up the Brook Valley now known as the Sugarloaf.

Shelbourne Street:

The road with the change of direction in the middle always appears to have existed in that form. The Gaol stood here with its memories of the Maungatapu murderers and behind this the Hallowell cemetery running down to Collingwood Street. The Lutheran Church stood for many years until our lifetime on the high ground behind the Education Board offices.

Named after the Earl of Shelburne (with no -o), Prime Minister of England in 1782–3. Of course, there was also the famous Shelburne Hotel in Dublin.

Shakespere Walk:

Now spelt Shakespeare Walk and cut down in size. It once included Avon Terrace as well and was confronted across the river by Milton Grove (1923 map). The line of the street on early maps is a little hazy as the river frequently altered its course.

Britannia Heights:

Once swept along the whole hilltop from Russell Street to the Observatory but has since been curtailed and Princes Drive has taken over a large piece of it from Richardson Street southwards. There is still a Britannia Heights Domain just below the Observatory.

The name could have been chosen for several reasons—the ship Britannia saw action at St. Vincent and Trafalgar, and the name had been used by the first settlers for Wellington until Wakefield changed it. Britannia and Franklin are the only two names in the Third List which seem to have had any connection with Lord Nelson.

Grattan Street:

Named after the famous Irish parliamentarian, Henry Grattan. It was the lower half of what is now Tasman Street, running from the Maitai Bridge at Hardy Street to Weka Street. Hobhouse's map of 1859 shows Grattan Street still in use.

Milton Grove:

This a puzzling street. It originally ran, I think, down Milton Street and the Grove part of the name was dropped. In Jury lists of 1846 Milton Grove is still mentioned in addresses but so is another street called Grove Street, which did not figure in Street Lists of 1842. Grove Street appears on the maps as early as 1842. In the Examiner of April 8th, 1843, lists of jurors include' "Phillip Valle, Gent, page 28Grove St., In the Wood, and John Jennings Imrie, Grove St., Gent." The Grove Gardens also appear in advertisements in early Examiners so it is not surprising that the Grove part of the name was given to another street, possibly to avoid confusion.

It is not clear when the change was made, but it was after 1846. Hobhouse's map of 1859 is no use here as he does not even show Milton Street or Milton Grove. Later in a map of 1923 Milton Grove was used again for a street on the south bank of the Maitai opposite Shakespeare Walk but this has also been dropped.

Wakefield Quay:

Named after Captain Wakefield who lived here and landed here. Quite a fitting name. The original road ran from the end of Haven Road to the bottom of Richardson Street and its continuation, the Rocks Road, was not opened until the 1890's.

Jenner Heights:

The hill above St. Vincent Street, written in the 1842 map as Jenner Ground and perpetuated by Jenner Road in the same area. He is said to have been an early surveyor.

Murphy Street:

Runs off Emano Street. There was a passenger Murphy on the Brougham. In the notes on street names left by the late Charles Kid-son, he said Murphy was an early settler and suggested that the terrace at the head of Murphy Street be called after Thompson, the first magistrate, who was associated with Murphy on the Brougham. The Council acted on this suggestion.

North Street:

North Road. It is still there and has not grown much yet but may become the main entrance into Nelson when it is linked with the Wakapuaka Road. Wakapuaka or Whakapuaka is the name of Kupe's fishing ground in Tahiti. This name caused great confusion in early Nelson, the settlers spelling it in various ways and even calling it such names as Hoke-poke. It was settled early and appears in addresses of jurors in 1846, and its future was assured when the Wangamoa route to the Wairau was first mentioned in 1849.

Tory Street:

Probably from the name of the first Company ship to reach Wellington. Also a Wellington street name.

This completes the names approved by the Street Naming Committee in their three meetings in March and April, 1842, but street naming in a new and rapidly growing town must have been a continuous process. Unfortunately there is little documentary evidence page 29to inform us who named subsequent streets or why they were named. At first the New Zealand Company must have named any new streets, then the Provincial Council after 1853, until the City Council was formed in the seventies.

Anyone wishing to carry on these researches further would need to have access to New Zealand Company and Provincial Council reports if such exist, or are available.

The new street names appear in the Examiner from April 16th, 1842, onwards so they must have come into use at once and probably proved a great boon to business people. There was still a certain amount of haziness about addresses, such as, "Haven Road, near the ford, in Mr. Tytler's house near the Eeelpond, at the brickyard, Nile Street East, or, near the Public Crane." There is a touch of old England in this one:

"J—, F—, Gardener and New Ground workman, Nile Street East, near Mr. McGarry's, respectfully solicits the patronage of the gentry of Nelson and its vicinity.

God bless the squire and his relations
And keep us in our proper stations."

The advertisement in the Examiner in 1842, "No. 169, Bridge Street," does not refer to a house number but to the number of the section on the map. It would be round about Mckays in Bridge Street.

After this there is silence as far as finding out the names of streets and I have read through countless Examiners up to 1850 to find only a few streets actually mentioned in advertisements. For example, on March 11th, 1843, a W. L. Shepherd, Solicitor, Sussex Place, and on April 8th, 1843, a jurors list including Thos. Marsden, Selwyn Street, Phillip Valle, Grove Street. from this we gather that street naming had been going on all the time and that now Sussex Place (Sussex Street), Selwyn Street (Selwyn Place) and Grove Street had now been named.

Selwyn Place:

Lies in the place where Bishop Selwyn preached his first sermons in Nelson in September, 1842. A swampy area east of Church Hill was cleared of flax and used as an open air church for the 200 or so people who attended.

Sussex Street:

Why? In Miss F. Irvine-Smith's book on Wellington Street Names she mentioned the Duke of Sussex whose chief bid for fame appears to be that he attended all the farewell dinners for the immigrants.

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The Green:

This is a name in the same area which appears in early papers. It lay near Selwyn Place and was bounded by Hardy and Collingwood Streets. It was a cleared area used for dancing and festivities to mark the anniversary of the settlement or for special dinners to celebrate such famous occasions as the recall of Governor Fitzroy.