Names for new roads around Hobsonville Point have a variety of themes –aircraft, former air force personnel, native plants, sea life, birds and iwi. The common link is that they all relate to this area, and great care is taken to ensure the names chosen for the roads reflect the history of the area. Road names such as Kittyhawk, Corsair, Harvard, de Havilland are all aircraft names that were here on the former air force base. Road Names such as Isitt, Buckley, Nevill were former Air force personnel from the 1920’s to 1950’s. They already had roads named after them here, and as those roads were reconfigured, their names have been carried across to the new roads. Another example, Nugget Ave by the secondary school is named after Air Commodore Ronald ’Nugget’ Cohen, who got the nickname ‘Nugget’ for being ‘worth more than his weight in gold’. The name Wallace Road by the primary school is named after the first Hobsonville school master from the 1800’s and is a way of acknowledging the new school, and the historic school on Hobsonville Road. Onekiritea Road is from the Māori name for the area, meaning ‘whitish clay’. Station Street also acknowledges the air force history, as in the early days, the base was known as ‘the station’.
The roads with names of native plants such as Harakeke, Kanuka, Mapou, are all plants that are present here, and sea life that is here – tuatua, flounder, mollusc. You will soon see bird names reflected in road names too – sacred kingfisher, skylark, spotted dove, for example, are birds that have been observed here. The road naming approval process is quite lengthy, names have to be approved by the Local Board, NZ Post, Auckland Council and LINZ, and submitters need to show that they have consulted with iwi and other parties. The process has recently become a little trickier, as a new road naming policy means that names that already exist anywhere else in Auckland, cannot be used. There are ways around this, for example, when unable to name a road ‘Wilson Road’, as that name exists elsewhere, it was acceptable to name it Hugh Wilson Rd (after a former Base Commander).
Kathleen Waldock at the Hobsonville Land Company is involved in the road naming process and says that names for the roads are from a range of sources, such as Bee Dawson’s book ‘Hobsonville- Portrait of a Seaplane Station’ and biodiversity survey reports that HLC has carried out at Hobsonville Point.
– Kathleen Walkdock