New Names For The Old Highway

Since this is still all one road, the names for each section should have a common theme. Historian Anthony Dreaver

Designation loss creates a unique opportunity

By Roger Childs

New names needed for sections of the old highway

With the new expressway operational, the old state highway is now a local road. However it is still officially State Highway One (SH1), but that will cease in early 2019.

Consequently the Council is keen to get community input for renaming the seven sections of the highway once the expressway takes over as SH1.

So up until 14 April 2017 you have the opportunity to make your felling know. You can your thoughts and suggestions:

This is a unique chance to  have a say on key road names.


A working party has some suggestions

Representatives of local iwi, along with historian Anthony Dreaver, have come up with some possible names.

The names selected all refer to a person or group who led Maori in the Kapiti area before and after the period of colonisation. In different ways they helped their people adapt to change, maintain their traditional communities, preserve their resources, claim a political voice and achieve the community’s respect. Anthony Dreaver

  1. Hurumutu – Paekākāriki to Mackays Crossing
  2. Hokowhitu  – Poplar Avenue to Kāpiti Road
  3. Rauoterangi – Paraparaumu north to Waikanae River
  4. Kakakura – Waikanae town
  5. Unaiki – Waikanae to Peka Peka
  6. Katu – Hadfield Road connection
  7. Matene Te Whiwhi – Peka Peka Road to Te Kowhai Road. (Another suggestion not made by the working party.)

The names that we recommend honour people who in different ways contributed to today’s bi-cultural Kapiti region. Taken together their names form a chain of founders of the region. Working Party Report

Names steeped in history

Unaiki painted by Lindauer

Unaiki Pukehi of Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Toa descent, married the Waikanae leader, Wi Parata Te Kakakura in 1852. They had many children, whose descendants remain in the district. In her time she was a very influential figure in the northern part of the Kapiti region.

Katu was the son Te Rauparaha, but unlike his warrior father, became a peacemaker. He was a signatory of the Treaty of Waitangi, worked with Octavius Hadfield as a Christian evangelist and supported the Kingite movement. He later became a sheep farmer in Peka Peka.

Kakakura was born on Kapiti Island the son of a Maori woman and a whaler. He became a farmer and in 1871 MP for Western Maori. As a supporter of Te Whiti he set up a house in Parihaka. He later lived in central Waikanae and was a key figure in redeveloping the area.

Hurumutu and Oriwia

Kahe Te Rau-o-te-rangi of Ngati Toa descent married trader Jock Nicoll in the early 1830s. She was baptised by Octavius Hadfield and was one of only five women to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. Kahe and Jock set up an inn in Paekakariki after the Hill Road was opened.

Te Hokowhitu-a-Tu was the regimental badge for 27 men from the Kapiti-Horowhenua who went to Gallipoli in the Native Contingent. The unit later served on the western front and was ultimately incorporated in the New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer Batallion.

Ropata Hurumutu was a Ngati Toa warrior chief but after the musket wars settled in the Wainui area north of Paekakariki. This was a community with 40 huts, churches, a flourishing mixed farm and a school.  He was later a spokesman for his people and helped define boundaries in the Wainui and Whareroa areas.

Your opportunity

Octavius Hadfield: deserving of a road name?

The working party suggestions highlight Maori who have been key figures in Kapiti’s development, however all members of the Kapiti community have the chance to propose names.

People may feel that others who have played an important part in the development of Kapiti communities could feature on the future signposts. The area is after all a multi-cultural district.

Names like Octavius Hadfield, Peter Field and Barry Hadfield, amongst others, come to mind.

Other aspects of our history could also feature, for example the section from Paekakariki to  Mackays Crossing could appropriately be named Marines Drive.







Nga mihi, thank you for this article. You might like to know that there are now known to be at least fifteen women who signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Kahe Te Rau-o-te-Rangi is in good company!

One or two other points if I may. KCDC required a set of names for each section of the road in part because this gives a guide for 111 calls. The central operator brings up a map of, for instance, a car crash and if we just call the road Old Main Road there will be a choice of goodness knows how many of the same name throughout the country.

Nor can we duplicate an existing name (e.g. Hadfield, Field).

Kakakura, by the way, is one of the names of Wi Parata MHR, the founder of Waikanae, so that’s why he’s recommended for the town’s main street. But there is already a Parata Street, so we couldn’t use that.

For similar reasons we recommend the name Katu, better known as Tamihana Te Rauparaha, because he was the first sheep farmer in that area. His property was bought by A J Hadfield, the bishop’s nephew.

So there is a logic to them all, and all are interesting people who perhaps ought to be better known.