WELLINGTON & others - Place Names in New Zealand :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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WELLINGTON & others - Place Names in New Zealand

Journal by ngairedith

taken from the site: What Does It Mean

New Zealand is full of mysterious place names. The impact of Polynesian and then European and Asian settlement has left its mark on our suburbs, street names and parks. Globalisation has meant words can become associated with many, often strange, things.

In Nigerian Pidgin Koro-koro means ?clear vision? and in Japanese it is a word something spherical, fat, or small. Korokoro is also the Maori word for throat and probably named for the shape of the gully and the abundance of fish and birds before European settlement.

Eastbourne comprises some 2000 residential homes spread over seven small bays, although only two are commonly considered part of Eastbourne itself.

Days Bay has particular associations with the young Katherine MANSFIELD, as her parents owned a holiday house there. The story ?At the Bay? was based on her experiences of staying in Days Bay as a child.

Petone comes from the Maori Pito-one, meaning ?end of the sand beach?. Petone was the first European settlement in the Wellington region and retains many historical buildings and landmarks. The first settlers arrived here in January 1840, on the ship Aurora.

Maungaraki translated from Maori means ?mountains to the north?, this probably references the Maori pa to the south that once stood at Pito-one.

Located at the south-eastern end of the Hutt River, Moera is thought to be a simplification of Moe-i-te-ra, meaning ?sleeping in the sun?.

Henry PETRE farmed Woburn in the 1840s and named the area after the Duke of Bedford's estate, Woburn Abbey.

Ngaio takes its name from a New Zealand native tree, the Ngaio. Dame Ngaio MARSH (1895?1982) was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. Internationally she is best known for her 32 detective novels published between 1934 and 1982. Along with Agatha CHRISTIE, Margery ALLINGHAM and Dorothy L. SAYERS, she was classed as one of the four original ?Queens of Crime? ? female British crime writers who dominated the crime fiction genre of the 1920s and 1930s. Ngaio was settled at the same time as the neighbouring suburb of Khandallah and like its neighbour many of its streets are named after places on the Indian subcontinent. Ngaio has had a number of notable inhabitants including James K BAXTER and his family from the late 1950s until the 1980s.

Khandallah is a Hindi word meaning ?hills and valleys?, or ?home of the gods?, and comes from a homestead built in the area in 1884 by Captain James Andrew, who had recently returned from duty in India.

Tawa takes its name from the native Tawa tree which once covered the area. Tawa is also a traditional Indian dish. A recently discovered species of dinosaur was coined the Tawa hallae ? Tawa is the Native American Hopi Tribe?s word for the Pueblo sun god. Tawa hallae fills in some gaps in the fossil record and makes the genetic line more inclusive of some weird flying cousins ? suggesting that carnivorous dinosaurs live on today as our avian friends.

The name ?Porirua? is of Maori origin and possibly a variant of ?Pari-rua? (two tides), a reference to the two arms of the Porirua Harbour. The famous captain James Cook of Whitby, England was the inspiration for that suburb?s name, as well as neighbourhood and street names.

The Plimmerton area was first settled by Maori early in their occupation of New Zealand, and the major Taupo pa was nearby. In the 1840s it was the home of Te Rauparaha, who was captured by the British in Plimmerton in 1846.

Near the southern end of Motuhara Road, a tiny historic reserve contains a plaque where he was said to have been captured. In Maori, the words ?puke-rua? literally means ?two hills?. Pukerua Bay is the birthplace and childhood home of film director Peter Jackson whose first feature film, Bad Taste was filmed there

Another site of Maori - English place names has:


- Situated in the Collingwood Area. The Inlet is called Ruataniwha

Aotearoa (Land of the Long White Cloud)
- New Zealand

- Hawke's Bay

- The Hutt Valley

Heretaunga, Waiorotu
- The Hutt River

- Lake Grassmere

- Entry Island

Karauripe; Te Whanganui; Kakata
- Cloudy Bay; Port Underwood in Cloudy Bay

Maitahi or Maitai T
- he Nelson Valley

- Flat Island, Table Island

- Southland

Otakou (the place of red earth. The Otago Peninsula had much yellow earth which gave red ochre when burnt)
- Otago

- Westland

- Stewart Island

Raukawa Cook Strait

Te Aropawa, Te Arapawa
- An island in Queen Charlotte Sound; a general district name

Te Awaiti
- Tory Channel

Te Ika A Maui (The Fish of Maui)
- The North Island

Te Hoiere or Te Hoihere
- Pelorus Sound; Pelorus River

Te Taitapu Golden Bay

Te Wai Pounamu (The place of Greenstone)
- The Middle Island; The South Island

- Queen Charlotte Sound

Te Whanganui A Tara
- Port Nicholson; Wellington

- Blind Bay, later Tasman Bay

- Nelson

- Chatham Islands

Main source for research :
"Te Rauparaha, a new perspective" - Patricia Burns
"The Reed Dictionary of Māori Place Names" - A.W. Reed

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by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-06-06 09:04:29

ngairedith has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2008.

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