Kaimata_Street1.jpg Kaimata Street sign (2021). Mike Gooch. Word on the Street image collection.

Kaimata Street is located in Vogeltown and is also the name of a small settlement 8 kilometres from Inglewood.

Kaimata stands out as a bit of an oddity among nearby street names. It is surrounded by roads with names such as Somerset, Essex and Cornwall, which reference our long standing connection with south-west England.

One reason for this is that Kaimata Street was surveyed in 1937, some years before the other streets. It is also the street closest to Brooklands Park, which is where the name comes from.

The historian, W.H.Skinner, referenced the location in the Journal of the Polynesian Society. In the article, published in September 1893, Skinner recounts the story of the “Capture of the Rewarewa Pa”. He writes that a Taranaki war party passed through the “Kaimata clearing, now the site of the homestead on Brooklands”.

The homestead in the park was built for the well-known New Plymouth businessman, Newton King. It was located at the top of what is now Bowl of Brooklands, facing north toward the city. Newton King died suddenly in 1927 and the large house, along with its splendid garden, was gifted to the New Plymouth Borough Council. The house was demolished soon after; a hasty decision which deprived the town of a landmark building.

Plans for the development of the area adjacent to the park were shelved when war broke out in 1939. After the war Kaimata Street and the nearby streets formed part of a significant Government post-war housing scheme. The houses that remain and the area itself are an important part of our architectural and social history.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

Related plan:

Brooklands State Housing Subdivision DP6845ICS Pre 300,000 Cadastral Plan Index (Imaged by LINZ)

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