When does a street become a street? Officially, once it has been gazetted, but even that has fish hooks in it.

Glenpark Avenue was formed as a road giving access to the Huatoki valley in the late 1940s. Its name reflected our ancestral links to Plymouth in the United Kingdom. The original Glen Park Avenue is a small street of terrace houses running from the Plymouth railway station, parallel to the Plymouth railway line and two blocks from Plymouth University. Home to many students and inner city dwellers, it seems a far cry from the New Plymouth version. Even being named after its English cousin didn't make Glenpark Avenue an official street, as it was only gazetted as a recognised street on 23 June 1958.

There was, however, a previous proclamation in a gazette in August 1955, which transferred the title of the land that both Glenpark Avenue and Tothill Street sit on from the Crown to what was then the New Plymouth City Council. This normally would have made them legal streets, as it reflected the fact that the Lands and Survey Department had legalised their use as streets. Unfortunately there were legal issues around drainage and easements for other services that had to be completed before the Governor General could give his final proclamation in the gazette of 1958.

So a street that had been formed and named had to wait more than ten years to be officially recognised as a street. No doubt the good citizens of Glenpark Avenue think it was worth the wait.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

Related document:

City's largest playground Taranaki Herald 17 September 1958

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