Topic: Kawerau streets named after local identities

Topic type:

A to Z guide of the origin of street, reserve and facility names around Kawerau named after local identities.


Bill Schmelz Place

Bill Schmelz worked at the Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill as Mechnical Superintendent.
He arrived in Kawerau in late 1955 and worked at the mill until his death in 1966. 
Bill was involved with the Kawerau Pony Club and other leisure activities within
the town.
Bob Wilson  Place Bob Wilson joined the Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill in 1955 as an Electrical Engineer. 
During his career with Tasman, Bob rose to the position of Chief Engineer until his
retirement in 1977. Bob served as the Tasman representative on the Board of
Commissioners  from 1960 until 1968.
Boss Road

Reg Boss and his wife Hazel opened a dairy in the first block of temporary shops in
Kawerau. They later moved their business into Jellicoe Court and then Onslow St.
Reg served on the Board of Commissioners from 1959 until 1968 and as a Borough
Councillor from 1968 until 1971.

Boyce Park

Clive Boyce was the first Mayor of Kawerau serving from 1959 to 1965. He and his wife
Maisie moved to Kawerau from Cambridge and opened a general store on 12 January
1954. Clive was also involved with rugby and refereeing, swimming and diving. Clive and
Maisie left Kawerau in 1967.

Dave Weston Place Dave Weston joined Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill as a Graduate Engineer in 1955. During his 14 years with Tasman he also held positions as Power and Steam Superintendent, Assistant Mill Manager and Assistant Industrial Relations Manager. He was a keen cricket player, a junior football coach and was also involved in Pony Club.
Delamere Drive

Sir Monita Delamere served as Borough Councillor from 1971 until 1980. Monita and his family came to Kawerau in 1956 where he entered into a partnership in a dry cleaning business. Monita and his wife Mary helped to pioneer rugby, tennis and netball clubs and social, health, and welfare services in Kawerau. Monita was supportive of all newcomers to Kawerau and helped build the Maori community centre Rautahi (100 tribes in one). Monita was knighted in 1990.

Dippie Place Jocelyn (Joc) and Malcolm (Mac) Dippie were early residents of Kawerau. Mac, Ray Ferry and Ron Rowson were the proprietors of Kawerau Motors. The building of their premises in Liverpool Street commenced in 1954 providing petrol and car repairs.
Doug Wilson Crescent

Doug Wilson was Assistant Town Clerk in Rotorua before Frank Prideaux appointed him as Kawerau’s first Town Clerk in 1953. He served in this position until 1968 when he accepted a similar position in Whakatane.

Emme Allan Road

Emme Allan was elected as a Borough Councillor from 1968 until 1988. She worked at Caxton Tissue Mill for a time before owning Nick’s Dairy.  

Firmin Field

Constable Bill Firmin and his wife Sis arrived in Kawerau in 1954 shortly after the original Police Station in Bledisloe Street was built. Bill had a great input into community life: helping to establish the Kawerau Rugby Club and serving as a foundation member for the Kawerau Bowling Club. In November 1955 he was appointed to the town’s first Advisory Committee.

George Whatnall Place

George Whatnall served approximately ten years in the Industrial Relations department at Tasman Pulp & Paper Company. For the last six years he was Manager of the Industrial Relations department.

Hadley Street

Trevor Hadley arrived in Kawerau in 1956 as a builder but later became one of the early retailers in the town. He owned Kawerau Outfitters in Jellicoe Court. Trevor was a past-president of the Kawerau Returned Services Association, a Justice of the Peace, a member of the Masonic Lodge, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Tauranga Big Game Fishing Club and the Whakatane Golf Club. After a long illness, Trevor Harold Hadley passed away in October 1969 aged 51 years.

Hansen Walk

Irene and Murray Hansen arrived in the Kawerau area in 1953 living at Lake Rotoma before moving into Kawerau in 1958. Murray worked for Fletcher Merritt Raymond while the Hansen’s business, Kawerau Books & Gifts, was established. Both Murray and Irene have been involved in many Kawerau organisations over the years: Pony Club, Kawerau College PTA and Rotary International to name just a few.

Hardie Ave and Ron Hardie Recreation Centre

Ron Hardie and his wife Sylvia moved to Kawerau in the 1950s. Ron was employed as a Superintendent in the Timber Yard at Tasman. He was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 1959 and then as a Councillor until 1983. When Roy Stoneham passed away in 1983 Ron was unanimously invited by the other councillors to accept the position of Mayor. He held this position until the 1986 election when he retired from local government. Ron was very involved with community activities especially rugby.

Hay Place

Paul and Eileen Hay came to live in Kawerau shortly after its establishment. Like many of the families who came to Kawerau they originally intended to stay only a few years but remained here for a large part of their lives. Both Paul and Eileen were very involved with community activities like the Kawerau Bowling Club, the Presbyterian Church, Red Cross and Mountain View Rest Home.

Holland Springs

The natural springs that supply some of Kawerau’s water supply were named after Tom Holland in recognition of his role in bringing the council’s attention to this resource. After the water had been monitored and tested it was found to have remarkable purity. Holland Springs were able to provide a flow of up to 80 million gallons per day.

Ion Road

Harold Ion was the first Headmaster of Kawerau North School when it opened in 1956. He served on the Board of Commissioners and was Deputy Mayor from 1959 until his retirement in 1965 when he and his wife Gladys moved from the district.

Julian Road

Barney and Joyce Julian arrived with their children Bruce, Berice, Rex, Geoff and Ivan in the 1950s . Another son, Murray was born in Kawerau. Both were very involved in community activities. Joyce drove the St John Ambulance and was an avid supporter of the Boy Scout movement in Kawerau. Barney was on the North School PTA and coached schoolboy rugby. He was a longterm member of the RSA with Joyce belonging to the Women’s section.

Keith McKenzie Park

Keith McKenzie was an original retailer in Kawerau. He was a director of Adolphs Cycles and Motors and later became the sole owner changing the name to McKenzie’s Cycles and Motors. Keith remained involved with this business until his retirement in 1990.

Keith became a member of the Kawerau Branch of Rotary International in 1961 and during his membership he held many positions and was President in 1970/1971. In 1987, Keith became a Paul Harris Fellow, an award presented by Rotary to recognize his outstanding community service which included the construction of the Rotary stone bridge in Stoneham Walk. He was also involved with the Kawerau Junior Anglers’ Club, Kawerau Pony Club and the Kawerau Art Society. 

Les Martin Drive

Les Martin was recruited in England and joined Tasman as a Machine Tender in 1955. His ability was quickly recognised by promotion to Assistant Paper Mill Superintendent and later to Paper Mill Superintendent, then Assistant Paper Production Manager. Les passed away in 1977 while employed by Tasman.

Lyn Hartley Reserve

Lyn Warbrick was a young nurse when she came to Kawerau to work with Sister Nancy Thompson in the first Maternity Hospital in Waterhouse Street. Following marriage to Doug Hartley and the birth of her son she worked for Dr Peter Lippa in his surgery in Normanby Street. Lyn was elected to the Kawerau Borough Council in May 1980. She served as a councillor until 1986 when she defeated four other candidates for the Mayoralty by a very substantial majority. Lyn was Kawerau’s mayor until 2001 when she stood down. The Kawerau District Council renamed the Ward Street Reserve the Lyn Hartley Reserve in recognition of the many years of service Lyn gave to the Kawerau community.

Maurie Kjar Swimming Complex

Maurie Kjar (pronounced Care) joined the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company from the NZ Forest Service in 1954. After holding several executive positions Maurie was appointed General Manager of Tasman in 1972. Maurie took a keen interest in community affairs in Kawerau and on the first Kawerau Borough Council from 1959 to 1962. He was one of the band of dedicated workers responsible for the planning and construction of the Kawerau Swimming baths. Maurie was a foundation member of the Kawerau Cosmopolitan Club, a member of the Whakatane Golf Club and was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1955. Maurie passed away in Rotorua Hospital on June 12 1974 at the age of 51.

Monika Lanham Reserve

Monika Lanham’s family owned part of the land that was to become the site of the Tasman Pulp and Paper mill. Upon the death of her father Monika became the family spokesperson negotiating the purchase of the property. During the construction days she worked in the Camp Administration Office becoming widely known and respected for her ever-ready friendliness, kindness and wide counsel, particularly to the people of her own race. Monika Lanham served as a Kawerau Borough Commissioner from 1962 – 1968 and a Councillor from 1968 – 1974, during this time she also served as deputy mayor. Although Mrs Lanham was intensely interested in all aspects of the duties of a Borough Commissioner and Councillor, she was especially zealous on matters relating to land sales and the welfare of women and children. Monika was also Chairman of the Kawerau Maori Tribal Committee and was a member of the Kawerau College Board of Managers.

Neely Place

Miss Meryll Neely was the first secretary to the Mill Manager of the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company arriving in Kawerau in 1954. She was elected to the Kawerau Borough Board of Commissioners in September 1961. While living in Kawerau Meryll was president of the Kawerau Business & Professional Women’s Club, secretary of the Kawerau RSA, and a member of the Kawerau Chamber of Commerce, the Kawerau Bridge Club and the Housewives’ Association. During the early days of Kawerau, Miss Neely was also the honorary child welfare officer and secretary of the Social Welfare Committee. She left Kawerau following her retirement in 1965.

Owen Road

Jack and Nan Owen arrived in Kawerau in 1954 with Jack being employed as a Camp Sergeant at FMR Singlemen’s Camp on the Tasman Mill Site. Following the end of the construction of the mill Jack, like many others, started work at Tasman Pulp & Paper Company. At first he was employed in the Housing Department later transferring to the Human Resource Department. Jack was involved with many community activities and served on the State Advances Housing Board for approximately 20 years. This Board was responsible for allocating state houses in the local community. It was for his services to the Board the Kawerau District Council approached Jack regarding naming a street in his honour, which after encouragement from his family, he accepted.

Pat Baker Reserve

Pat Baker arrived in Kawerau with his family in the late 1960’s when they purchased Kawerau Sports Depot from Don Forbes. They owned this business until 1980. Pat served on the Kawerau Borough Council and then the District Council from 1971 until 2001. Pat was also involved with many sporting and recreational clubs and organisations in the Kawerau community.

The Pat Baker reserve was named by Council in July 1996 after River Road resident and long serving Councillor Pat Baker. Mr Baker lived opposite the reserve and took a personal interest in its beautification and maintenance. Councillor Baker was still a serving Councillor when the reserve was named, which was a source of some controversy at the time.

Peter Lippa Drive

Dr Peter Lippa grew up in Germany and came to New Zealand via a stint in China. He was Kawerau’s only doctor until 1957 and was well known within the town. Dr Lippa was heavily involved in community activities. He was a foundation member of both the Kawerau Rotary Club and the Kawerau branch of the St John Ambulance Association. As the first president of St John’s he campaigned and fundraised for 9 1/2yrs to build a new ambulance hall for the town. For his services to the Order Dr. Lippa was appointed as serving Brother of the Order of St. John. Dr Peter Lippa retired from his practice to live at Lake Rotoiti in November 1974 and passed away in October 1976.  Dr Lippa is on the right in the photograph.

Tribute to Dr Lippa by Roy Stoneham

Prideaux Park

Francis Prideaux, known as Frank, was a retired accountant in Whakatane when the Local Bodies Commission recommended that a Town Commissioner be appointed to oversee the setting up of the new towns of Murupara and Kawerau. Frank was appointed to this position in 1954 and served until 1959. He was an Advisory Commissioner until 1968. He and his wife Florence were very involved in many of the early initiatives of the town. At the official opening of the Kawerau Municipal Buildings and Town Hall on 15 June 1960 Clive Boyce announced that the sports field on Plunket Street was to be named Prideaux Park in recognition of Frank’s contribution to Kawerau. Frank Prideaux passed away on the 16th January 1979 aged 87. He was survived by Florence who passed away on the 6th September 1979 aged 80.

Ramsden Place

When the Reverend Ian Ramsden, his wife Ellen and their baby daughter, first set eyes of the new town of Kawerau in 1954, it consisted of 100 or so new little houses and a few temporary shops in the corner of what had been a huge paddock. Ian was the first Minister of the Kawerau Presbyerian Church and was ordained here in Kawerau in the Townsite Cafeteria in March 1954. The Presbyterian manse where the family were to live was the first privately owned house built in Kawerau. Ian and his family moved from Kawerau in 1959.

Roy Stoneham Park & Stoneham Walk

Roy Stoneham was Kawerau’s second Mayor. He and his wife Pauline came from England and established themselves here as Roy worked at the Tasman Pulp and Paper mill.

In 1959 he was invited to join the Town Commissioner’s Advisory Committee, serving until the first Borough elections which took place at the end of that year. He became Mayor in 1965 and stood unopposed in each election until his death in 1983.

Mr Stoneham represented the Kawerau Borough on a number of local, district and regional organisations, such as the Bay of Plenty Local Bodies Association of which he was President in 1970/71 and the Bay of Plenty Catchment Commission of which he was Deputy Chairman from 1971 to 1974. At the time of his death he was the Kawerau Borough representative on the Bay of Plenty Catchment Commission.

He was controller of the Kawerau Civil Defence organization and served as chairman of the local Housing Allocation Committee. In addition he was patron of a number of local organisations, both sporting and cultural and actively assisted a variety of causes including the Kawerau Community Association, the Returned Serviceman’s Association, St John Ambulance Association and the Kawerau Pony Club. Mr Stoneham was also actively involved as a member of the Kawerau Budget Advisory Service, personally acting as advisor to many who were in need of such assistance.

In recognition of his community services Mr Stoneham was awarded an O.B.E. in the 1977 Queen’s Birthday Honours. He retired from the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company in 1979 and devoted his time to his duties as Mayor of Kawerau until illness in early 1983. Roy was one of New Zealand’s longest serving provincial mayors when he passed away on the night of May 7 just three days before his 67th birthday.

Roy Weston Walk

Roy Weston was employed in the Timber Yard of Tasman Pulp and Paper Company. He was an enthusiastic hunter and fisherman. Harvesting ducks and pheasants along the Tarawera River and in the foothills of Mt Putauaki was a favourite pastime. Originally the Roy Weston Walk and adjoining Lyn Hartley Reserve were part of the Ward Street Reserve. In June 1999 Council, Mr Weston’s family and a close friend decided to develop the area along the Tarawera River into a memorial feature in
recognition of the community contribution by Mr Weston, who had recently passed away.

Ryder Place

Father Thomas Ryder arrived in Kawerau in 1959 having been given the responsibility of setting up the new Catholic parish St Gerard’s. Kawerau was Father Ryder’s first contact with Maori people and it wasn’t too long before he started a Maori Choir. This choir was very successful and was used for every baptism and wedding. During Father Ryder’s time in Kawerau the School of Religion was established, the new building was situated in Onslow Street just along from St Gerard’s. This building had three classrooms which were used for both CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) lessons and meetings. In 1971 after leading the Kawerau/Edgecumbe parish for 12 years Father Ryder moved on to the parish at Papakura.

Shephard Road

Joan and Phil Shepherd were well known in the Kawerau community. Joan worked for many years in the Promenade Milk Bar. Phil worked at Tasman but will be remembered by many children who grew up in Kawerau. He was the special person dressed in a red suit and long white beard who arrived in our town once a year just a few weeks before the 25th December. 

Spencer Avenue

Dr Errol Spencer and his wife Janet arrived in Kawerau in 1957 and Dr Spencer opened his new practice at 165 River Road in March of that year. For many years Dr Spencer and Dr Peter Lippa were the only doctors in town. Dr Spencer terminated his practice as a GP in June 1988 but continued as doctor for the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company for another five years after this.

Stewart Reidpath Drive

Stewart Reidpath joined the staff at the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company in 1954. He held a wide variety of administrative positions during his time with the company including Office Services Supervisor, Public Relations Officer and Community Affairs Officer. Stewart had a keen interest in the community working with the Budget Advisory Service and serving as the Kawerau representative on the Bay of Plenty Electric Power Board for ten years. Stewart loved fishing and was the foundation President of the Whakatane Big Game Fishing Club and the foundation President of the Kawerau Lions Club.

Syme Crescent

Jim Syme was appointed Manager of the Timber Division at Tasman Pulp & Paper Company on 1 April 1954 and retired in August 1976. He came to Kawerau with his wife Rosalie and children Raewyn, John and Lynden moving into 4 Massey Street later in 1954. Jim was Tasman’s representative on the Kawerau Board of Commissioners from March 1962 until 1968. He then was elected as a Kawerau Borough Councillor from 1968 until February 1980. In 1966 the Council appointed Jim to the Tauranga Harbour Board representing Kawerau. He was elected to this same Board as the member for the Matata District and Kawerau Borough Council in 1968. The Tauranga Harbour Board later became the Bay of Plenty Harbour Board and Jim held the positions of Deputy Chairman from 1972 to 1976 and Chairman from 1977 until 1981, retiring in 1983. 

Tombleson Way

Geoff Tombleson moved to Kawerau from Paeroa with his wife Beryl and twins Rodney and Linda during Labour Weekend in 1954. Geoff managed Kawerau Pharmacy and later purchased the business. Geoff was a very community minded person helping establish the Kawerau Boxing Club. He was a member of Rotary, St John Ambulance Association, Red Cross, I.H.C., Masonic Lodge, the original board of Kawerau College and was patron of the SPCA. Geoff was elected to the Kawerau Board of Commissioners in 1965 and was one of the first Kawerau Borough Councillors elected in 1968. He was deputy Chairman of the Finance and Town Planning Committee from 1971-1980 and Chairman from 1980 until he retired from local body politics in 1989. Geoff Tombleson passed away in December 1990.

Windley Place

In March 1956 Joe Windley was chosen from seventeen applicants and was appointed Borough Foreman. In this position he was the project manager of the water supply project which involved pumping water from Holland Springs one mile from town. Joe Windley retired in 1970.

Diamond's are a Council's best friendThis information was collected as part of the Diamonds are a Council's Best Friend exhibition curated by Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum.

Look here for a general list of street names in Kawerau and their origin. 

Kawerau streets named after local identities

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Kawerau streets named after local identities by Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License