GREYMOUTH- An Historical Directory

A short history

Compiled by Frances Buckley
Grey District Library 2003
The book version of this document may be purchased at Grey District Library. It contains photographs, illustrations, maps and other extra information

The idea for this book came from the many requests by school children for a history of the streets they live in.  Although library staff knew some obvious ones, I decided to try to compile a history of all the names from what records were available.  I must thank Kevin Beams and Mayor Kevin Brown for encouraging me in this endeavour and adding helpful suggestions.
Former Librarian Joan Heaphy was especially helpful in providing some answers and fleshing out bare details.  Jack Flood and Eric Belcher also gave me several ideas.  Most of the information was abstracted from local histories published over the years, but some is from the Karoro Cemetery Register and the files of the Grey River Argus newspaper.
This is really still a work in progress, so I am sure that other information will eventually come to light about some of the names not well covered here.  The Grey District Council accepts no responsibility for the material included.  Most is based on historical research, but some is an educated guess on the part of the compiler.
Lastly, I must thank Margaret Mort most sincerely for her help in setting up and publishing this booklet.

Greymouth had its beginnings with the arrival of explorers Brunner and Heaphy at the Mawhera Pa on the banks of theMawheraRiverin 1846.
Brunner renamed the ‘Mawhera’ (“bright running waters”, or alternatively “widespread river mouth”) the ‘Grey’ in honour of Sir George Grey, who was at that time Governor of the infant colony ofNew Zealand.
It was not until the 1860s that settlement began in earnest with purchase ofWestlandfrom the Maori by James Mackay on behalf of the Government on 21 May 1860.  The township of Greymouth was sold by local Maori on 12 January 1866, but most of the central business district and part of the early residential quarter was retained as a Maori Reserve.   This is owned and managed today by the Mawhera Incorporation.
The region was at first under the control of the Canterbury Provincial Council and known as ‘West Canterbury’, but in 1868 it gained its independence and the Greymouth Borough was formed on 16 July 1868.  The first Council of nine members was elected on 26 August 1868.
Early on the whole area was informally known as “The Grey,” but the township was first named ‘CrescentCity’ because of the shape it formed round the river. It was formally named ‘Greymouth’ from its position near the mouth of theGreyRiverwhen the town was laid out by John Rochfort the pioneer surveyor in 1864. 

Greymouth and its Suburbs
The early settlers were not just adventurers but mostly educated and literate men, with knowledge and appreciation of art and history.  This is reflected in their choice of names for the suburbs and streets.

Greymouth  ‘Mawhera’ to the Maori, but renamed ‘Grey’ to honour the then Governor of New Zealand Sir George Grey.  The earliest street names honour pioneer residents, explorers and prominent local Maori, while others pay tribute to English literary figures and politicians.  Later developments recognize the achievements of local residents who contributed significantly to civic and local body affairs.

Blaketown    Named for its founder Isaac Blake who, according to his contemporaries, although unable to read was a wily and ambitious character.   He came as a gold prospector but soon saw that there was more money to be made as a trader and storekeeper.  In its early days, Blaketown was bigger than Greymouth.  Blaketown shows the influence of early politicians in its street names

Cobden Reflects the English origins and political awareness of its founding fathers.  Many of the streets are named for English political rebels and reformers of their times.  Richard Cobden, 1804-1865, was himself a radical politician involved in repealing the Corn Laws, emancipating the worker and encouraging free trade.  Some of his fellow travellers, such as John Bright and Edward Cardwell also have streets named after them.  Other more recent streets honour some of Cobden’s significant citizens.

Karoro The meaning in Maori is ‘blacked-backed gull’ or ‘seagull’.  The streets of Karoro, which are mostly the result of more recent subdivision, reflect the names of developers or landowners in the area.  Some are named for geographic features and native trees.

Paroa The meaning in Maori is ‘long fortified village’. The area round the Saltwater Creek was so named in 1866 when upwards of two thousand men were prospecting in the area.  The streets of Paroa are mostly named for prominent citizens and landowners.


Achilles Street H.M.S Achilles, as part of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy, played a vital part in one of the most heroic naval battles of World War Two, the Battle of the River Plate.  The British cruiser numbered 321 New Zealanders among her crew when she and two other cruisers took on the German pocket battleship the ‘Admiral Graf Spee’ forcing the German ship to flee and finally be scuttled by her crew.

Aerodrome Road Runs parallel with and leads into the Greymouth Aerodrome.  This road used to run across the aerodrome and connect with what is now Water Walk Road

Albert Street / Mall Albert is a corruption of the name Arapata Horou, a Maori elder and signatory to the Deed of Sale of Greymouth.  As an Anglican lay-preacher, he was instrumental in obtaining a grant of Maori land to build the first Holy Trinity church on the corner of Guinness and Albert streets.  The southern end was given the name Albert Mall when it was turned into a pedestrian mall in July 1989. It was turned back into a street in 2009, becoming Albert Streetagain.

Alexander Street, and Alexander Terrace Alexander Mackay, cousin of James, was also an early explorer.  As Commissioner of Native Reserves he was responsible for overseeing the purchase of Maori land and signed the Deed of Sale of Greymouth.

Arney Street Sir George Alfred Arney, 1810-1883.  Chief Justice of New Zealand for 17 years and Member of the Legislative Council, known for his liberal views and absolute sense of justice.

Arnott Heights Named for the Arnott family who owned the land and built the subdivision.  Their founding ancestor was William Arnott, a builder.  He came from Scotland and was a veteran of the Crimean War.   When he died in 1927 he was aged over 100.  A great-grandson, Gavin built the subdivision in the 1970s. Gavin died suddenly, aged 82, in 2001.

Arnotts Lane Also known as Moores Lane

Arum Road Arum lilies were growing there in abundance on the old gold dredge ponds before building development began.

Ashmore Avenue A subdivision developed by the McNeil family and named after the town of their birthplace in England.

Ashton Lane Edwin Ashton served on the first Borough Council in 1868.  He had horse stables on Boundary Street that backed onto the Lane and was an hotelkeeper on Richmond Quay.  His son, Alfred Grey Ashton, was the first recorded European birth in Greymouth in 1865.

Badger Lane Francis William (Frank) Badger was in business as a painter, decorator and sign writer.  His shop was on the corner where Smith & Smith is now.  He died in 1933.

Baillie Place Frederick William Baillie was a businessman and long-time resident of Cobden.  He was a long-serving member of many sports and service clubs, involved in all aspects of the community.  He was Mayor of Greymouth for three consecutive terms from 1954 to 1965.

Barkley Place James Barkley was a partner in the drapery firm Thompson, Smith & Barkley, which he established with his cousin John Thompson in 1868.  He served many years on the Greymouth Borough Council and other civic bodies and was Mayor of Greymouth for the term 1882 -1883.  He died unexpectedly in 1890 aged 53, deeply mourned by his family and the community he had served so well.

Beechwood Close A name chosen for a new subdivision off Sinnott Road

Bidgood Street There was a Bidgood family living here in the early days.   George Bidgood was butcher, dairyman and hotelier at Twelve Mile Landing and at No Town in 1875.  He died in 1882.   Mary Ann Bidgood, native of Quebec, Canada, died in 1916 aged 76 and is buried in the Karoro Cemetery.

Blackett Street John Blackett was Provincial Engineer for Nelson at the time Westland was being explored and surveyed.  He was responsible for the construction of roads from Nelson to the West Coast.  He served as first warden on the Nelson South-West (Buller/North Westland) Goldfield in 1865.  He went on to become Engineer-in-Chief for New Zealand.

Blackmore Street John James Blackmore had a cordial factory in the area.  He was originally in business with William Frederick Strike as Strike & Blackmore with premises at the back of the Gilmer Hotel.  Later he amalgamated with the Grogan factory to become Grogan & Blackmore.  He died, aged only 50, in 1890.

Blake Street Isaac Blake was one of the first explorers and merchants to settle in the area.  He opened a store, which was really just a slab hut, in Blaketown the area that bears his name.  For the first few years Blaketown was bigger than Greymouth.  Blake had his store and tearooms on Packers Quay.  His beloved wife Harriet died after a long illness and aged only 39 in September 1866. In 1867 Isaac married his second wife, Annie Prentice.

Bradley Lane Ran off Leonard Streetand was probably named for John Bradley who was a dairyman in the area. He died in 1902 aged 72 and is buried in the Karoro Cemetry.

Boundary Street Marks the boundary between the Maori lease land and the freehold land first established in Greymouth.

Bridge Street Has a pedestrian–only bridge at one end over Sawyer’s Creek

Brick Street This Street is now known as O’Donnell Street. It was originally called Brick Street because of the brickworks established there about 1880 by Henry Fitzpatrick Betts, a Crimean War veteran, and his three teenage sons, Charles, Henry and Louis. Sons, Charles and Louis, later founded Betts Motors.

Bright Street John Bright, a radical English politician and colleague of Richard Cobden for whom the township is named, was prominent in repealing the infamous ‘Corn Laws’, and an instigator of free trade.

Briscoe Lane William Briscoe, a blacksmith who had his shop in Waite Street, died November 12th 1905, aged 71.  The Grey River Argus recorded that the large attendance at his funeral “bore testimony to the respect and esteem in which he was held by all classes of the community.”

Brunner Street Honours Thomas Brunner who, along with Charles Heaphy, was the first European to explore the West Coast over a two-year period from 1846 to 1848.

Buccleugh Street Honours the Earls of Buccleugh, a Scottish noble house dating back to Sir Walter Scott.

Byron Street Chosen by English settlers to honour George, Lord Byron the famous 19th century romantic poet.  He was the darling of the Regency set, famous for his “amours”, especially that with Lady Caroline Lamb wife of the then Prime Minister William Lamb, LordMelbourne.

Card Lane The Card brothers, John, Robert and William were among the first to settle in Marsden, hence Card Creek in that area.  John Card was a butcher, hotelier and storekeeper at Marsden and an hotelier and dairyman at Pine Tree Hill.  John later had the Cosmopolitan Hotel, and Robert the Canadian, in Greymouth.  The Card brothers were born inWiltshire,Englandand arrived on the Coast in 1864.  John died in 1882, and Robert in 1892.

Cardwell Street Edward Cardwell, 1st Viscount Cardwell, another British politician, who is remembered for army reforms carried out under Prime Minister Gladstone 1869-1874.

Chapel Street Originally known as ‘Church Street’ it ran down what is now Lord Streetand linked up withHerbert Street.  The name was changed when the Methodist Church, colloquially known as ‘Chapel’, established itself there and owned the land in the vicinity of the present roundabout.

Chapman Street Chapman Street originally ran off Gresson Street, west of Arney Street and was closed in the early 1900s when the lagoon was dredged to enlarge the port area. It was probably named after George Herbert Chapman of Stuart and Chapman Sawmillers, who operated a mill in the area.

Charles O’Connor Street This new industrial subdivision on reclaimed Harbour Board land is named in honour of Charles Yelverton O’Connor.  O’Connor, an Irish-born civil engineer, was responsible for surveying the route for the railway bridge over the Otira Gorge in 1865. He worked for a number of years on the West Coast goldfields and became District Engineer for Westland Province.  In Greymouth, among other things, he was in charge of building the harbour works. He later moved to Western Australia and is revered there for his work on the Goldfields Pipeline and other civil engineering feats. Unfortunately, like many men of genius, he came to a sad end.  In later life he succumbed to alcoholism and bipolar manic depression and took his own life at age 60.

Chesterfield Street Philip Stanhope Chesterfield was an English MP and man of letters in the 17th century.  The street was originally a link with the goldfields tramway that ran along the beach to this point.  The Australasian Hotel was first built at the far end but was relocated to its present site by William Arnott.

Churchill Street Winston Churchill, the great British wartime leader and Prime Minister during World War Two, was also Colonial Secretary 1921-22.

Clifford Street Named for Charles Clifford, a prominent landowner in the Clarence area of Marlborough, and a cousin of Frederick Weld.  After a 20-year career in politics he returned to England in 1860.  He was made a baronet in 1887.  When he died in Londonin 1893, he was a leading New Zealand landowner with an estate valued at 84 thousand pounds.

Clough Road Richard Clough was a butcher in the early days.  His shop was inBoundary Street near the Golden Eagle Hotel.  He probably owned land and resided in Paroa.  He died in 1910, aged 67.

Coakley Street Coakley Family were long-time residents of Blaketown.  The first settlers here were Michael and Mary Ann from Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland.  Mary Ann died in 1898, aged 54.  Michael died in 1908, aged 73.

Coates Street William James Coates was one of the first six pioneer settlers to arrive on the steamer ‘Nelson’ in 1864 with his wife and three children.   He was elected to the first Borough Council.  His son, Thomas Eldon Coates, a lawyer and farmer served as Mayor 1908-1909. Descendants still farm at Haupiri.

Collins Street Dick Collins was a punt man across the Grey River to and from Cobden before the bridge was built in 1884.  Later he was a signalman at the harbour signal station. He was a keen athlete in his time.  He died 5 September 1909 aged 68.

Convent Lane The Sisters of Mercy convent was built at the rear of this lane.  Now replaced by the Tai Poutini Polytechnic.  It was originally called Gerald Lane for G. Perotti.

Cook Terrace Cook and Sampson undertakers?  Probably named for Captain James Cook who sailed along the West Coast during his round the world voyage of discovery in 1770.  He described the West Coast as “an inhospitable shore…wild craggy and desolate.”

Coulson Road Originally called Milton Road Extension because on early maps the road is surveyed through from the Greymouth end. Renamed in recent times for Corry Coulson, a long time landowner and farmer in the Paroa area.

Cowan Place Named after Norman and Gladys Cowan who built the first house there.

Cowper Street William Cowper, 1731-1800, an English poet known for his evangelical religious fervour.  His verse was popular in his lifetime because of its directness and natural sympathy with everyday things.

Curtis Street Curtis Street ran from the Northern end of the Cobden Bridge to the end of Nelson Quay. It was named after Oswald Curtis who was the Superintendent of Nelson until the absolution of the provinces in 1867. He won acceptance for the Nelson, Cobden and Westport Railway Act, 1866, which allowed the reservation of land for a railway.

Custom Street The first customhouse was established on Mawhera Quay adjacent to Custom Street, but subsequently burnt down.

Devon Street A hilly street reminiscent of Devon on the south-west coast of England.

Domain Terrace Overlooks Karoro Domain recreation area.

Domett Esplanade Alfred Domett was Commissioner of Crown Lands and as such was involved in opening up the West Coast to exploration and settlement.  He was elected MP for Nelson and then served as Prime Minister of New Zealand in 1862-63.

Dowling Road There was a Charles Dowling, a hide merchant, in Greymouth in the 1860s.  James Dowling was a member of the Paroa Road Board in 1873.

Doyle Street Possibly honours Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous British novelist and creator of Sherlock Holmes. Could be named for Matthew Doyle, an early resident and publican in the 1880s or Aiden Doyle who was a resident and married here in 1869.

Dupre Place Fritz Carl Dupre was an early jeweller and watchmaker in town who was briefly Mayor in 1884 and who served on the Borough Council for 14 years.  In 1866 he was in partnership as Dupre & Reusch with premises on Richmond Quay.

Easson’s Hill J.W. (Percy) Easson, an early businessman, was a passenger on the “Mapourika” when it ran aground on the North Tip on October 1, 1898.  He was also a founding member of the Greymouth Swimming Club, becoming Secretary on its inauguration on July 20, 1900.  Mr Easson’s family home was at the top of ‘Easson’s Hill’.

Eldon Lane T. Eldon Coates, the son of earliest pioneers, and himself prominent in Greymouth affairs, being Mayor 1908-9, built a large family home on the corner.  This house was a prominent landmark for many years.  The lane is a private access.

Elizabeth Street One of several streets in the area named for Joseph Kilgour’s daughters.  Elizabeth Emmeline died at Nelson in 1884 aged only 17.

Elmer Lane Frederick J. Elmer was a bailiff of the early District, Magistrate’s and Warden’s Courts presided over by William Horton Revell.  He owned a couple of acres of land near the Lane.

The Esplanade The term “esplanade” is used to describe a wide open road used as a public walkway. This road in Blaketown runs along the tip head and overlooks the Grey River.

Eva Street Named for Josephine Eva Kilgour, daughter of the well-known businessman and landowner Joseph Kilgour.  Eva became a Mrs Thomas and died in 1944.

Felix Campbell Street Felix Campbell was Mayor in 1895.  He was a well-known and successful merchant, at one time the richest man on the Coast, and generous benefactor to the Catholic Church.  Born in Armagh, Northern Ireland, he came toNew Zealand about 1892 and was on the Coast early as a packer and carter.  He later became a wealthy grain, produce and liquor merchant.  He died in 1922 aged 88.

Fern Valley Road A new subdivision at Paroa, between Rutherglen Road and Manuka Place, reflecting the native bush in the area.

Fernhill Place This was the original name for ‘SouthBeach’.  Probably alluding to the scenery in the area.

Firth Street Joseph P. Firth, one of Cobden’s great sons, was a teacher who rose to national prominence in education.  He made a bequest of the Firth Scholarship to encourage senior Cobden School students in academic excellence.  This scholarship is still awarded today.

Fitzgerald Street James Edward Fitzgerald was the first Canterbury pilgrim ashore at Lyttelton in 1850.  He was later a Member of Parliament and Auditor General who fervently espoused the cause of Maori.  He was the force behind opening up the Arthur’s Pass road between Canterbury and the West Coast.

Flower Street Origin of this street is unknown.  A Frank Flowers accompanied James and Alexander Mackay on an 1860 expedition to the Coast but turned back at Maruia. Alfred Flower, as a young boy in 1879, led the first Newman Brothers’ coach across the treacherous Buller Riverto open up a reliable mail and passenger route between Nelson and the West Coast.

Fox Street (Sir) William Fox accompanied Brunner and Heaphy on an early unsuccessful attempt to travel down the West Coast from Nelson.  Later, as Premier of New Zealand, he ordered the building of flood protection works from Cobden Bridge toTainui Street after the great 1872 flood.  Edward Burton (E.B.) Fox was a goldbuyer who was drowned in 1875 while crossing the New River.  The notorious Burgess-Sullivan gang murdered George Dobson in mistake for Fox.

Franklin Street Probably honours Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790, the eminent American scientist and statesman?

Frederick Street A prominent local Maori who may have signed the Deed of Sale?  Could be named for Sir Frederick Weld, Premier of New Zealand 1864-65.  This street was commonly known as “Kennedy’s Lane” because of Kennedy Brothers’ buses and garage located there for many years.

Freyberg Terrace Bernard, Lord Freyberg was a distinguished soldier and statesman.  He served both in World War One, where he won the Victoria Cross, and in World War Two as Commander of the New Zealand Division.  He later served as Governor General of New Zealand.

Frickleton Street Samuel Frickleton was born in Blackball where he became a coal miner.  As a soldier in World War One, he earned a Victoria Cross for ‘magnificent courage and gallantry’ when he captured two enemy machine-gun nests single-handed in Belgium in 1917.

Gadd Road Edward Thomas Gadd was an early resident of Paroa.  Born in Southampton, England, he died at Grey Hospital in 1920, aged 86.

Gerald Lane Gerald Land is now called Convent Lane and was named for Gerald Perotti.

Geraldine Street Honours another member of the Perotti family, Geraldo Perotti junior.  The street was called ‘Geraldine’ to fit in with all the female names surrounding it.  Upon his father’s death in 1911, Geraldo junior took over as Italian Consul until his own death in 1934.

Gilbert Road Formerly known as ‘County Road’.  Alfred Russell Dunlop Gilbert was a landowner and farmer in the area.  He died aged 85, on 4 January 1970.

Gilbert Street William Bernard (Bill) Gilbert was Secretary of the Harbour Board from 1910 to 1948.  He died on 13 January 1950, aged 79.

Gilmer Lane The Gilmer Brothers, Hamilton, Henry, Samuel, Robert and John came to New Zealand from Ireland in the 1860s. They owned hotels in Greymouth, Hokitika, Cobden, Westport, Charleston, No Town and Arahura and had interests in many other business ventures.

Girdwood Lane David Girdwood was a commission agent and auctioneer and one of 18 candidates who stood for election to the first Borough Council in 1868.  He also operated a bonded warehouse in Albert Street for the import of wines and spirits.

Glen Road George Glen(n) an early wine, spirit and produce merchant and importer who was Mayor of Greymouth for a portion of 1873.

Gresson Street His Honour Henry Barnes Gresson was the Judge of the first Supreme Court session held in Westland.  This took place in Hokitika in January 1866.  Judge Gresson didn’t just sit in the courthouse.  Between the six-monthly sessions of the Supreme Court, when he tried cases as varied as murder, robbery, riot, common assault and horse stealing, he travelled round the diggings making speeches and performing official duties.

Griffen’s Hill Named for the Griffen of Griffen & Smith, Patrick Michael Griffen.   This firm, now part of the Mitre 10 franchise, of wholesalers, general and hardware merchants, is one of the oldest businesses in town, having been founded in 1865.  Mr Griffen’s home was built on the top of ‘Griffen’s Hill’.  This stretch of road joining Herbert and Tainui streets is familiarly known as “Brewery Hill” because of Monteith’s Brewery at its foot.

Grogan Lane Patrick Grogan had a cordial factory onTainui Street(now KFC land) beside Grogan Lane.  He later amalgamated with J.J. Blackmore to form Grogan & Blackmore’s cordial factory that operated from Blackmore Street for many years.

Guinness Street Originally called Hospital Street because the first Grey River Hospital was built there on the corner of Tainui and Hospital Streets in 1866.  Renamed Guinness Street to honour Sir Arthur Guinness, a prominent early lawyer and co-founder of Guinness & Kitchingham.  He was also the Member for the Grey Districton the Westland Provincial Council from 1884 until his death in 1913.

Hall Street The Honourable John Hall, a civil servant in Wellington, was instrumental in gaining independence for Westland from the Canterbury Provincial Council, which allowed the Coast to develop its own boroughs and counties.

Hallenstein Lane Bendix Hallenstein a German Jew known for his generous nature and public spirit began Hallenstein’s chain of men’s clothing stores inDunedinin 1873.  The original Hallensteins in Greymouth was on the corner ofAlbert Streetand Mawhera Quay, hence the name of this lane.

Hamilton Terrace Frank and James Hamilton were early merchants.  Frank was prominent on several sporting bodies and served as Mayor 1877-1878.

Heaphy Street Charles Heaphy, along with Thomas Brunner, made the first journey by Europeans from Nelson down to Mawhera Pa and then on to Arahura.  He made many journeys of exploration in both North and South Islands.  Later, during the Maori Wars in the Waikato, he won the Victoria Cross for “the total disregard of his own safety”.

Herbert Street Named for a prominent Maori.  Possibly Arapata Horau for whom Albert Street is also named, or maybe Hakiaha who signed the Deed of Sale of Westland in 1860.

Hewlett Road The land in this area belonged to the Hewlett Family.  The firm of J. Hewlett & Co. was in business as night cart men and general yardmen in the 1870s.

High Street Most towns settled by the English have a main street called High Street, usually in the central business district (CBD).

Hill Quay This short, flat road that backs onto Jellyman Park (named to honour Frank Jellyman, a long-time Cobden resident and sports administrator) was once part of the beach.  Probably named for Hill family whose estate included property in many parts of Greymouth.  Sidey Hill (Menswear) was of that family.

Hinchy Lane Named by Edmund Wickes for his wife, Eliza, whose maiden name was Hinchy.  Eliza died, aged 58, in 1902.

Hinton Road John Daniel (Jack) Hinton, who gained fame as a soldier in World War Two when he won a Victoria Cross while fighting in Belgium, later spent time on the West Coast including a stint as licensee of a hotel in Bright Street.

Holy City See – Stratford Street.

Ida Street Named for yet another daughter of Joseph Kilgour, prominent early businessman and landowner.  Ida became Mrs Oxenbine and died in London in 1934.

Jacks Road Reportedly named for a well-known identity in the Paroa area.

Jamieson Road Thomas George Jamieson, a pig farmer, joined the Grey County Council in 1941 and was Chairman in 1952.

Johnston Street As with Arney and Swainson streets, this one was named for a politician of the time.  Walter Woods Johnston, 1839-1907, was a merchant, landowner and politician.  He was elected to Parliament for Manawatu in 1871 and served as Postmaster General and Commissioner of Telegraphs.  Later, he was a Commissioner of Public Works.   An R.J. Johnston was Greymouth Borough Engineer, 1885-1911.

Jones Lane W. Jones, a baker, built and owned Jones’ Post Office Hotel.  In 1898 William Daly Revington bought it and it became “Revingtons” or “Revies” as it remains today.

Josephine Street Named for another daughter of Joseph Kilgour.  Josephine Eva, for whom Eva Street is also named, became Mrs Thomas and died in 1944.

Joyce Crescent / Joyce Lane Thomas Joyce was an early Greymouth merchant and brewer who served on the Borough Council for more than 12 years.  Born in Galway, Ireland, Thomas Joyce died in Greymouth on 23 May 1908 and is buried in Karoro Cemetery.

Kamahi Place The ‘kamahi’, or canopy tree, a species of native tree growing in the area is probably the most common forest tree in New Zealand, growing largest in the wettest areas such as the West Coast.

Kane Lane W. Kane was in business as a baker in the 1870s.  Mr Martin Kane was Inspector of Nuisances for the Greymouth Borough Council in 1905.

Keith Road Keith Brothers’ Contracting business was at South Beach.  James Robert Keith and his wife Harriet lived in the area until their deaths in the 1960s.

Kerr Avenue The Honourable James Kerr, born in Dumfries, Scotland, was a reporter on the Melbourne Age in 1859, on the Otago Daily Times in 1862 and founded the Grey River Argus in 1865.  He was subsequently a Member of the Legislative Council.  He died 28 August 1901, aged 68.

Kettle Street William Robert Kettle was a prominent early businessman.  His business as wine and spirit merchants & general importers was on Mawhera Quay.  He served as a Borough Councillor and was Mayor in 1893.  His family made an endowment to the local community by way of the Kettle Charitable Trust, which still operates today.

Kilgour Road Joseph Kilgour was a prominent early businessman, hotelier and property owner, known as “old Joe” and famous for the jaunty angle of his white stovepipe hat. He engaged in many enterprises, some with Geraldo Perotti.  These included iron foundry, goldmining, sawmilling and the Kumara Tramway.  Joseph Kilgour served as Mayor in 1870.  He died, aged 68, on 24 August 1898.   William Kilgour, another early resident, founded Kilgours bookshop.  He died 8 May 1907, aged 75.

Kowhai Street Named for the kowhai tree that with its unusual and spectacular yellow flowers is sometimes regarded as a national symbol.

Lagoon Road Road access to the lagoon at Paroa.

Lake Street Original access to Karoro Lake from Preston Road and now access to Victoria Park.

Leith Crescent Probably named by the first residents for their homeland, Leith in Lothian, Scotland?

Leonard Street James Leonard was an early bootmaker with a shop on Mawhera Quay. May have been named for a prominent early Maori, possibly Rewai Kaihi, who signed the Deed of Sale of Westland in 1860?

Lombard Street Like Threadneedle Street, this was named for the street in London that is very narrow but represents the peak in monetary dealings.

Lord Street Edward Iveagh Lord (Snr) was an Australian who came to the Coast as an engineer with the Public Works Department and later served as Borough Engineer from 1895 to 1911.  Among his achievements were designing the first town water supply which lasted from 1900 to the present day.  He died in 1911, aged 67.  His son, Edward Iveagh Lord (Jnr) was also an engineer and surveyor who also spent time as a journalist.  He wrote a number of books about the Coast, including the fascinating “Old Westland”.

Loris Place Named for Loris Barrow, from the family who built and were the first residents of this 1980s subdivision.

Lydia Street Named for Lydia Perotti, second daughter of Geraldo Perotti.

Lynch Street James Daniel (Dan) Lynch was a hotelkeeper in Cobden and Mayor of Greymouth from 1917 to 1922.  He was a very popular mayor who died in a plane crash on Mt.Turiwhati.

Mackay Street James Mackay, the explorer and Assistant Native Secretary, acting on instructions from Governor Gore-Browne, succeeded in buying Westland from the Maori for £300 (three hundred pounds) in 1860.  Mackay, accompanied by other pioneer explorers, surveyors and government agents, made the extremely hazardous journey from Nelson down to Westland on a number of occasions between 1858 and 1860.

Main South Road Self-explanatory. This is the main road leading south out of Greymouth.

Manuka Place As with other recent subdivisions, this street is named for a native tree the manuka. ‘Tea tree’ was the name given to it by Captain James Cook who made a tea like brew with its leaves to combat scurvy.  Maori used it as a medicinal herb and today it is valued for its aromatic oil plus its properties as hot slow-burning firewood.

Marian Street Named for Mrs Reuben Waite, one of the earliest women to settle in the area. She was Isaac Blake’s sister.

Marlborough Street John Churchill, 1st Duke ofMarlborough, was an English soldier made famous for his victory at Blenheim during the war with France in 1704. He was an early ancestor of Winston Churchill.

Marsden Road Samuel Marsden, 1765-1838, was a Yorkshireman who became the first Christian missionary to hold a service in New Zealand, on Christmas Day 1814 in the Bay of Islands. Marsden Road leads out through Boddytown to the settlement of Marsden.

Martins Quay Martins Quay ran along the outlet of the lagoon to the Grey River. It was closed in the early 1900s when the lagoon was dredged to provide safer vessel mooring. It was possibly named after William Martin, one of a party who arrived at the Grey River on the “Emerald Isle” in 1863. There was also a George Martin operating as a coal merchant in the area.

Masters Street Edward Masters, who ran an iron foundry business on Boundary Street, was the first Mayor of Greymouth.  He was elected on the foundation of the Greymouth Borough Council in 1868 when he was just 29 years of age.  He was subsequently elected Member for the Grey Valley in the House of Representatives, but ill health caused his untimely death in 1879 when he was aged only 40. Masters Street originally ran behind West Coast Motors on Smith Street. The name was subsequently transferred to its present location, a street of Railway (government) housing, after the railway station and yards were built.

Mawhera Quay “Mawhera”, meaning ‘bright running waters’, or ‘widespread river mouth’ in Maori, was the name given to the river and the nearby Pa by the first inhabitants of “Greymouth”.

McKane Place McKane Place recalls the sterling civic work done by A.H. (Bert) McKane during his years of residence in Cobden.  He was also a President of the R.S.A.

Merrick Street David Merrick was a young Forest Service worker and keen mountaineer who lost his life on a climb in the Mount Cook region in the 1970s.  He was a prominent member of the West Coast Alpine Club that remembers him with a memorial collection of books on mountaineering.

Milton Road Named to honour John Milton, 1608-1674, the English poet who is most famous for his solemn and sonorous epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’.  He was also politically active, writing many pamphlets supporting controversial causes.

Miro Street Named for another native forest tree, the ‘miro’ with its aromatic foliage and red berries beloved of fruit eating birds such as the native wood pigeon.

Mitchell Place  John Mitchell was a well-known coach proprietor who was Mayor 1889-1890.  He fell in to controversy by erroneously labelling his coachline “Cobb & Co” when this name in fact belonged to a major Australian coachline.  During a price war with other coach operators, his coaches suffered many accidents, the worst being at the Lyell in 1893 when a speeding coach overturned, causing injuries to Mrs Mitchell from which she later died.

Monro Street Sir David Monro was a Resident Magistrate in Nelson who sat on the bench during the trial of the notorious Burgess-Sullivan Gang for the murder of George Dobson in 1866.

Morice Street Honours two pioneer doctors in the town.  Doctor Charles Lloyd Morice (the “Old Doc”) ministered to Greymouth’s sick and injured from the earliest days and was first Surgeon-Superintendent at Grey Hospital from 1866 to 1894.  His son, Doctor Charles George Morice succeeded him until 1915.  Both men are recalled by the naming of Morice Ward at Grey Hospital.

Moss Street Moss Street, accessed from the top end of Chapel Street, is named for George William Moss of G.W. Moss & Co. Auctioneers, Shipping and Commission Agents.  He served as Mayor 1875-76.  The firm he started lasted for over 100 years.

Mount Street Presumably named for its steep incline above the township.

Murray Street Commemorates visits by the steamer ‘Murray’ which was converted by Joseph Kilgour from a punt to a steamer to trade along the Coast.  As early as 1866, then described as a clipper schooner, it was conveying freight and passengers between Greymouth and Melbourne with Captain Holloway as master.

Nancarrow Street Richard Nancarrow was a local merchant who was Mayor from 1879 to 1881 and again in 1886.  He founded the firm of Nancarrow & Co. in 1867.  This company remained in business as travel agents for over 100 years.

Nelson Quay and Nelson Street Another name reflecting the British origins of the majority of early settlers, Nelson Quay and Nelson Street honour Lord Horatio Nelson.  Admiral Lord Nelson was the hero of the great naval Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars in 1805, during which he lost his life.

Newcastle Street Newcastle Street perpetuates the name of an English Prime Minister, the Duke of Newcastle.  He had a more than 40-year political career spanning from 1717 to 1763.

Newsome Lane Newsome Lane was also known as Eldon Lane. It is named after Mark Newsome who was a blacksmith in the area.

Ngarimu Street Second Lieutenant Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu, a hero of the famous Maori Battalion, won the Victoria Cross in North Africa during World War Two. He died firing his sub-machine gun from the hip “defiantly facing the enemy”.

Nikau Valley Road Another newly developed area.  The name reflects a native tree in the area, the Nikau Palm.  Maori used the feathery leaves for thatching, and the small hard fruit was substituted for rifle shot by the pioneers.

Nolan Crescent Nolan family have a long history of settlement in Westland and South Westland.  Nolan’s had a carriers business in the very early days and the now O’Donnell Street was briefly named ‘Nolan Street’.

North Beach This is a continuation of Domett Esplanade, starting at Lake Ryan and running north along the beach towards Point Elizabeth.

O’Donnell Street Originally Brick Street, because of the brickworks established there about 1880 by Henry Fitzpatrick Betts, a Crimean War veteran, and his three teenage sons Charles, Henry and Louis.  Sons Charles and Henry later founded Betts Motors in Westport.  The street was renamed O’Donnell for the family whose residence for many years was atop the hill that backs this street.  W.J. O’Donnell was Borough Engineer from 1912-1924.

O’Grady Street Malachi Thomas O’Grady was a Police Sergeant who resided in Blaketown in the 1880s to the early 1900s.

Omoto Road Maori meaning:  ‘o’= of;  ‘motumotu’= sticks for firewood.  “Omotumotu” is the name given to the creek that flows into the Grey River just northwest of Omoto.  According to Tuhuru Tainui of Arahura, in the very early days, the elders found a cave at Taramakau and wondered how far it went because when the river flooded water rose in it.  They floated a bundle of sticks in this water and found that they came out at “Omoto” or ‘little pieces’.

Packers Quay So named for the packers who bought gold and other goods by packhorse to and from the wharf in the early days when transport was very difficult and hazardous.  It was the original berthing place for visiting ships but was soon deserted for deeper anchorage off Mawhera Quay.  Isaac Blake had his store and tearooms there in the early days.

Palmerston Street Named for another British politician, Lord Palmerston.  Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, became Prime Minister in 1855 and brought the Crimean War to a successful conclusion.

Panthers Road The Panther family were established residents in the Paroa area.

Parfitt Place Mr W.H. Parfitt was Mayor in 1923-26.  His daughter-in-law Mrs Dorothy Martha (Dorrie) Parfitt was the first woman inNew Zealandto be elected chairman of a Hospital Board.  She served on the board of Greymouth Hospital for 36 years and was a tireless worker for the community.

Paroa Road This was the road to Paroa. It is now known as the Main South road.

Peake Lane William Peake, a native of Coventry, England, lived here in the early days.  He died in 1906, aged 77.

Peel Street Sir Robert Peel, 1788-1850, was an English politician remembered as the creator of the Metropolitan Police Force.

Perotti Lane and Perotti Street Geraldo Guiseppe Perotti, a native of Barge in Piedmont, Italy, was a prominent early businessman.  He had interests in many business ventures, some with Joseph Kilgour.  These included iron foundry, goldmining, sawmilling, hotels and the Greymouth to Kumara Tramway.  He owned considerable land in the area of Perotti Park and the surrounding streets are named for members of his family. Mr Perotti always maintained contact with his homeland and was Italian Consul for 37 years.  He was knighted by Italy for his services and became Cavaliere, the equivalent to Sir Gerald.  He served on the Borough Council and took a prominent part in the life of the community for 47 years.  When he died in October 1911, aged 81, his obituary described him as “one of Greymouth’s oldest and most respected residents” and “one of the West Coast’s most valuable men.”

Petrie Avenue Joseph Petrie was an early editor and part owner of the Greymouth Evening Star who served two terms as Mayor in 1887-88 and 1907 and as a Borough Councillor for 33 years. He also served one term as Member of Parliament for the Grey District 1882-1884.  When he died in May 1908 he had given 40 years public service to Greymouth.  James A. Petrie was Mayor 1904-06.

Pitt Street William Pitt ‘the Younger’, 1759-1806, was Prime Minister of England at the end of the American War of Independence, aged 25, and during the Napoleonic Wars. He is credited with abolishing public hangings.

Power Road Edmund and Mary Power first settled here in 1871.  The last of the family to live in the old house sold the land to the Beckers who built the subdivision in the 1950s.

Preston Road Originally Sefton Street because the Seftons built a toll bridge there opposite Victoria Park that gave access to Blaketown.  Probably renamed for the Preston who had a fish factory there.

Puketahi Street Maori meaning: ‘puke’= hill; ‘tahi’= one.  Street at the bottom of a hill.

Railway Crescent Gives access to the houses in what was a block of Railway (government) housing in Ward Street.

Railway Terrace For a short time,Smith Street was known as Railway Terrace, probably because the Station Master and many railway employees lived in the area.

Raleigh Street Honours another hero of British history, Sir Walter Raleigh.  As a courtier, adventurer and writer, he was a favourite of Elizabeth the First who knighted him in 1585.  By 1616 he had fallen from grace and was confined to the Tower of London.  James 1st ordered his execution in 1618.

Rata Street Another Karoro street named for a species of native tree.  There are several species of rata, but the most common locally is the southern rata that grows particularly well in areas of high rainfall.

Redwood Place  Named for the redwood tree, a native of California that grows along the West Coast of the United States and reaches magnificent heights, growing upwards of 200 ft tall.  The wood is soft, red and weak but durable, prized in the timber industry as an interior finishing wood.

Reid Street Alec Reid founded the Greymouth Evening Star in 1866.  Robert Caldwell Reid was a gold buyer with the Union Bank, and a Justice of the Peace.  He published a book “Rambles on the Golden Coast” in 1884.  He was also the early proprietor of the Hokitika newspaper the West Coast Times.

Richmond Quay, and Richmond Street James Crewe Richmond, an artist and early visitor on the ship ‘Jane’, painted realistic views of Greymouth before the town was built.  He became a prominent politician as Provincial Secretary and later Commissioner of Crown Land. He was instrumental in helping the West Coast gain its independence from Nelson and Canterbury.

Rigg Street John Rigg, Australian-born and a printer by trade, was a prominent trade unionist inWellington who was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1892.  In 1904 he helped form the Political Labour League of New Zealand, a precursor to the Labour Party.

River Bank Road This road ran along the river bank before the lagoon was dredged.

Robert Road Named by the Minnoch Family, first residents of the street, in memory of their son Robert who was killed in a car accident in 1991, aged only 17.

Robinson Street John Perry Robinson, Superintendent of Nelson, was instrumental in opening up the Coast to settlement and industry, particularly gold and coal mining.  In 1865, during an expedition to the Coast, he and three others were drowned when their boat capsized on the Buller River bar.

Rochfort Street  John Rochfort, explorer and surveyor, laid out thetownship of Greymouth in 1864.  He named many of the central streets for his friends and acquaintances among the explorers and early settlers.  He is credited with giving the name ‘Westland’ to the province.

Rutherglen Road Rather fancifully named for ‘Rutherglen’ a region of Strathclyde, Scotland known for its thatched cottages and heather-covered hills.

Russell Terrace Alfred Charles Russell served as a borough councilor and was elected Mayor for the term 1910-11.  He had stood the previous year and lost, but in 1910 he won the mayoralty by 37 votes from the incumbent, T.E. Coates.

Ryan Street Matt and William Ryan were bakers in town in the early days.  They had a store in Bright Street.  William was a Superintendent of the Fire Brigade, 1908-1918.

Saltwater Creek Road Another newish subdivision in Paroa that follows the course of Saltwater Creek as it wends its way out towards Shantytown. Saltwater Creek was the original name for the Paroa area prior to 1866 when the gold rush there was right at its height.

Sawyers Creek Road Now called Heaphy Street, it was originally named for the sawmills in the area.

School Lane Runs down beside the former Grey Main (and Intermediate) School, between Tainui and Turumaha Streets.

Shakespeare Street Honours England and the world’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare.

Sheedy Lane Daniel Sheedy owned one of the town’s best-known hotels, the Brian Boru on Mawhera Quay backing onto the Lane.   He served a term on the Borough Council in 1901.  Daniel Sheedy was born in Kilworth, County Cork, Ireland and died in Greymouth on 14 March 1909, aged 70.

Shelley Street Honours English poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, best remembered for his odes such as “To a Skylark” and for being the husband of Mary Shelley, the author of “Frankenstein”.

Shields Lane James Shields was in business in the first years of Greymouth.  He resided in Herbert Street where he died from cancer in 1889, aged 60.  Mr Shields was a native of Stewart’s Town, County Tyrone, Ireland.

Short Street Self-explanatory.  A very short dead-end street that originally held a public dump and serviced the railway marshalling yards.

Sinnott Road Sinnott Family are long-time residents of Greymouth.  Sinnott’s Dam was in Sawyer’s Creek, about the site of the Marlborough Street Bridge, and used for alluvial gold mining in the very early days of Greymouth.  Tim Sinnott was a tailor in town for many years.

Smith Street For a short time, this street was also known as Railway Terrace. William Simpson Smith was briefly Mayor in 1874. He was a partner in the drapery business, Thompson, Smith and Barkley, originally Smith and McDowell Draper, Mawhera Quay.

Spring Street Probably refers to underground springs in the area that have been known to cause localised flooding.

Stafford Street Sir Arthur Stafford was the first Nelson Provincial Superintendent and afterwards a Prime Minister of New Zealand.  Mr E.W. Stafford was the Chief Colonial Secretary in Wellington who signed the declaration of Greymouth as a Borough, July 20th 1868.

Stalker Lane James Stalker, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, was an early resident who arrived on the Coast in 1864 and spent time as a gold miner at Greenstone until appointed by the Nelson Provincial Government to look after the flagstaff at the harbour signal station.  He held this position for 20 years.  When he died in 1889, aged 68, he was the oldest resident of Greymouth, having lived here for 25 years.

Stanton Crescent Stanton family is well known in Greymouth.  Jacky Stanton, a member of the family, built the subdivision.

Station Road Self-explanatory.  This road leads to a railway station.

Steer Avenue Jesse Steer, a prominent landowner and businessman in Cobden was Mayor of Greymouth in 1903 and Chairman of the Harbour Board for 13 years.  He also operated the Mawhera Meat Co. and established Greymouth Motors. He died in 1945, aged 81.  His son, William J. Steer was also involved in the harbour and has the local pilot launch named after him.

Stirling Drive Chosen by the Arnott family to honour Jean Aitken Arnott, wife to William Henry John and mother of Bill, Gavin and Roy.  Jean Aitken was born inStirling,Scotland.

Stratford Street Named for the sawmilling firm of Stratford & Blair.  Nicknamed ‘Holy City’. This enclosed area, available only to foot traffic, between Alexander and Blackmore streets was given the name ‘Holy City’ because the original 12 houses dubbed “the twelve apostles” were occupied by Catholic families who visited church on a very regular basis.  Today the area houses the Noia Neate Pensioner Flats named to honour the late wife of the then Commissioner for Town Planning, and respected editor of the Greymouth Evening Star, Frank Neate.

Stuart & Chapman Drive This new subdivision, developed by Ferguson Brothers off the top end of Power Road, is named to honour the early sawmilling firm of Stuart & Chapman.  In 1903 John Chapman and David P. Stuart formed a partnership and built a mill at Rimu just south of Ross.  In 1918 they built a bridge across the Mikonui River that was to carry all South Westland traffic for 40 years.  The company ran a logging operation where the subdivision is now located.  The train tracks used to bring the logs out were still there in recent times.

Sturge Street Joseph Sturge, 1793-1859, was an English political reformer like John Bright.  He worked tirelessly as a leader of the anti-slavery movement and to repeal the Corn Laws.

Swainson Street William Swainson, an English-born lawyer, was the first Attorney-General ofNew Zealand.  He was closely involved in shaping the Constitution Act of 1852.  Swainson considered the Treaty of Waitangi should be the sole authority when providing a basis for legislation in the colony.

Swift Street Lawrence Swift, a native of Limerick, Ireland, was accidentally killed while working in the Cobden Quarry on May 22 1888, aged 57.         

Tainui Street  Werita Tainui became Chief of Mawhera Pa on the death of Tarapuhi in 1864.  He was head of Poutini Ngai Tahu until his death on 2nd December 1880.  Tainui signed the Deed of Sale of Greymouth to the Crown on 12th January 1866. Tainui Street originally ended at what is now the railway crossing. In the early days, that and Lord Street were known as Tidal Creek until the land was reclaimed in the 1890s.

Tarapuhi Street  Tarapuhi te Kaukihi was chief ofMawheraPain the 1850s.  He befriended Arthur Dudley Dobson and guided him on his search for a route through the Southern Alps.  Tarapuhi died in 1864 and was succeeded by his younger brother Werita Tainui.

Tasman Street Runs parallel with the coastline bordering the Tasman Sea.  Named for Abel Janzsoon Tasman, the Dutch explorer and sea captain and first European to sightNew Zealand in 1642.  Although he never set foot on New Zealand, he did chart the West Coast on the map at 42 degrees south, and described it as “A great land uplifted high…”

Tasman View Road A new subdivision in the South Beach area overlooking theTasman Sea.

Taylor Street Originally Palmerston Street after Lord Palmerston.  Renamed for Joseph Taylor, an early Cobden resident and hotel keeper prominent in local body affairs.  In 1873 he was Postmaster at Brunnerton and variously a baker, butcher and draper.   He was a son of Charles Taylor for whom Taylorville is named.

Thompson Street John S. Thompson was an early businessman.  He and his cousin James Barkley established a drapery business in 1868.  W.S. Smith joined them.  Thompson was later a merchant in Wellington and then moved to Castlemaine in Victoria where he purchased a family foundry business.  He died there in 1910.

Threadneedle Street Named for the famous street in London that houses the Bank of England, “the old lady of Threadneedle Street”.  This is obviously a satirical touch, referring to the narrowness of the street.  It may also derive its name from its earliest occupant, a tailor from London named John McDavitt.

Tindale Road Named for the family of that name.  John Tindale, born in West Hackney, Middlesex, England and his wife Hannah settled in Dunganville in the early 1870s.  He was Chairman of the Grey County Council 1908-10 and died June 18 1915.  Ben Tindale owned the hillside in more recent times.

Turumaha Street Maori meaning: ‘The place of many memories’.  Especially chosen by the elders to remind future generations of the Poutini Ngai Tahu presence in this area.

University Street Unformed street in the area of the Grey Hospital. It was policy in the 1870s when Greymouth was laid out to include a University Reserve.

Volunteer Lane Remembers the men of the Volunteer Reserve who were the forerunners of the Home Guard.  Local citizens charged with defending their part of the Realm.  Volunteer Hall was built on the corner of Werita and Mackay streets, but burnt down after a few years, as was the fate of many early buildings.

Waite Street Reuben Waite and his wife Marian were among the first six Europeans to settle in Greymouth. He was the settlement’s first storekeeper and is credited as the founder of the town.  His brother-in-law was Isaac Blake, also a storekeeper and gold prospector, who founded Blaketown.  Waite was a storekeeper at Collingwood when a sample of gold from the Buller brought to him by some Maoris convinced him a trip to the West Coast would be worthwhile.  He founded Westport before moving on to Greymouth.  During his lifetime his pioneering feats went largely un-rewarded. He wrote a book about this titled “A narrative of the discovery of the West Coast Goldfields”.  He returned to Nelson after ten years in Greymouth and died in Nelson Hospital in 1885.

Warburton Street William Henry Warburton and his wife Elizabeth Mary were early residents who are buried in Karoro Cemetery.

Ward Street Joseph Ward was prominent in Nelson Provincial Government (which had early control over Cobden), and an early explorer.  He was a prominent landowner in the Wairau Valley and Clarence River areas of Marlborough

Water Walk Road Situated in a low-lying area of reclaimed land that was once separated from Preston Road by Karoro Lake and Lake Erua Moana.

Waters Lane Frederick Barrington Waters was an early hotelkeeper and stationer who served a term as Mayor in 1894.  He died that same year aged 61.  His headstone at Karoro Cemetery must once have been among the most magnificent there.

Weenink Road The Weenink family were well known in the early days.  Garrett H. Weenink owned about 16 acres of land in the area.  He served on the Grey County Council.  He died in 1891 and is buried in Karoro Cemetery

Weld Street Sir Frederick Weld was a pioneer sheep farmer in Marlborough and a cousin of Charles Clifford.  He was also the seventh Premier of New Zealand.  He retired from politics and left New Zealand in 1867 to embark on an eighteen-year career as a colonial governor.

Werita Street Also named for Chief Werita Tainui. (See Tainui Street, above)

Westvale Drive An elegant name, chosen by developers, for a very new subdivision off Sinnott Road.

Whall Street John Arthur Whall was a hotelkeeper, brewer and first Town Clerk from 1868 to 1891. He had been elected to the Canterbury Provincial Council in 1865 as the member for Greymouth.  In 1867, along with Joseph Kilgour, he was made a Commissioner on the Westland Commission investigating the separation of the West Coast from Canterbury.

Whitcombe Quay Whitcombe Quay was another casualty of the lagoon dredging works. It was situated west of Preston Road and named for John Henry Whitcombe. With Jacob Louper, a Swiss, Whitcombe traversed theWhitcombePassand finally arrived in Hokitika in 1863. Weak from lack of food, they decided to cross the Taramakau River after finding the Taramakau Pa and Arahura Pa deserted. Whitcombe drowned in the river which was to claim many more lives.

Wickes Street Edmund Alexander Wickes was an early timber merchant elected to the first Borough Council in 1868.  He served as Mayor during the first great flood in 1872.  When he married Eliza Hinchy in February 1866, he had to walk from Greymouth to Hokitika to get the marriage licence.  Edmund Wickes died on August 13, 1913.  A large number of mourners, both local residents and many from all parts of the Coast, attended his funeral to pay tribute to a pioneer citizen who had won the respect and esteem of all.

William Street Could be named for several people. William Horton Revell, was Government Agent in Greymouth in 1864 and later Chief Justice of the Warden’s Court.  Mr Justice Williams sat on the bench of the Supreme Court in the 1880s.  It is believed that, as with Herbert Street, it honours a prominent Maori, probably Wiremu Parata who signed the Deed of Sale of Westland in 1860.

Willis Street Probably copied from Willis Street in Wellington.  Archibald Dudingston Willis was a printer, publisher and politician who co-founded the “Evening Herald” newspaper.  Another famous Willis was the owner of the first accommodation-house at Springfield.  This was the last staging post for mail coaches in the early days.  The rest of the journey was by horseback or on foot over Arthur’s Pass.

Wilson Crescent Ernest Alexander and Barbara Charlotte Wilson owned land there for forty years.  Two of their daughters, Miss Barbara Wilson and her half-sister Miss Marj Cambridge were well-known identities in town for many years.

Wilson Lane Robert (Specky) Wilson, a boat builder, and his family lived inAlbert Street in 1869. The Wilson family still lived there in more recent times. They had connections with the Aicken family for whom Aickens, on the way to Otira, is named.

Winnie Street Honours the wife and a daughter of Geraldo Perotti.  Miss Winifred Perotti lived alone for many years in the imposing family home that stood where the Holy Trinity church is now.  She died in 1952, aged 70.


5 thoughts on “GREYMOUTH- An Historical Directory

  1. teamfowler says:

    Fantastic. Great work. And you have an ancestor of John McDavitt replying right now! But I’m Australian! Woops!

    • Not about to hold being an Okker against you- my family arrived in NZ from Castlemaine. Still have a bunch of them there. And, oh! My mother was from Bathhust, and Grandma from Tassie!!!

  2. Wow that waas unusual. Ijust wroe an really long comment but after I clicked submit my copmment didn’t
    appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over
    again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

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