The city of Tauranga had its beginnings in the mission station established at the northern end of the Te Papa peninsula in the mid 1830’s. Rev A N Brown purchased land from the northern end of the peninsula (now Sulphur Point) to where St George’s Church stands on Cameron Road on behalf of the Church Missionary Society in 1838/39.
After the land wars most of the land purchased by Brown for the Church Missionary Society was taken as the site for the town of Tauranga, which was surveyed in 1867.
Tauranga was gazetted a borough in February 1882, with a population of about 1,250.
The following photos have been kindly supplied by Tauranga City Libraries;
Caption: Devonport Road, Tauranga, Tourist series 946 H.Winkelmann photo.
Looking south up Devonport Road, Tauranga 1915 F.N. Christian’s garage on right, then Bert O’Neill’s hairdressers shop. Model T Ford in centre of Photo.
Caption: The Strand, Tauranga N.Z. Rendell Photo (Stamp CT Prosser Land and Business Agent, Tauranga N.Z.
Looking from the Monmouth Redoubt along the Strand. There is a decorative arch over the railway track, so presumably the occasion is the opening of the railway from Tauranga to Auckland in 1928. Prosser was a land agent in the late 1910s and 1920s.
Site of Piccadilly Arcade. Foundations being constructed, 1966. Caption reads: ‘A view taken from the rear of John Court’s Devonport Road premises looking towards Grey Street shows preliminary stages of work on the new arcade of 19 shops ..... Some folk have speculated on the wisdown of providing more shops when more than a dozen and a considerable amount of office space have been empty in the city for a long time. Reversing the previous trend, however, the new arcade will help to concentrate the business area with obvious advantage to the shopper, apart from its value in providing modern buildings. It is probable that more shops will become vacant as existing firms move in towards the city centre - this is part of the price of growing up’. From Photo News 51, 10 August 1966, p4-5.
Caption: Strand Gardens, Tauranga, N.Z. 4969
The Strand Gardens, Tauranga showing the Herries Arch and the new Tauranga Hotel c 1940s.
The Strand looking south in the 1940s or 50s.
Looking south along Willow Street, Tauranga from the Government Buildings, showing the corner of the Post Office c 1940s.
Downtown Tauranga Street Names
Have you ever wondered how some of the street’s in Downtown Tauranga got their names? The information below has been taken from the ‘The Centennial of Gazetting Tauranga as a Borough, Tauranga 1882-1982” which can be found in the New Zealand Room at the Tauranga City Library.
Cameron Road - Lt General Sir Duncan Cameron was the commander of the Imperial Forces in New Zealand.
Devonport Road - The naval troops had their camp in this vicinity at the time of the Battle of Gate Pa. The road was presumably named after the naval base in England. It was originally deivided into several sections named Devonport Road, Devonport Street, Devonport Lane and Simson Street. In 1913 the name Devonport Road was given to all of these.
Dive Crescent - Bradshaw Dive, Mayor of Tauranga 1919-1929.
Durham Street - The 68th Durham Light Infantry was stationed in Tauranga during the Maori wars. Durham Street runs along one side of the site of Durham Redoubt. The redoubt was situated on the area by Durham Street, Hamilton Street, Cameron Road and Harington Street.
Elizabeth Street - Mrs Elizabeth Tunks was the wife of Captain Thomas Tunks, a retired Imperial Army Officer, and mother of A F Tunks, mayor of Tauranga 1933-1935.
Grey Street - Governor George Grey.
Hamilton Street - Captain J F C Hamilton commander of the HMS Esk was killed at the Battle of Gate Pa.
Harington Street - Colonel Harington, whose name was correctly spelt with one “r” commanded the 1st Regiment of the Waikato Militia. He received as a land grant the farm on Cambridge Road known as Kelston.
Monmouth Street - Leads to the Monmouth Redoubt, named for the 43rd Monmouth Regiment stationed there in the 1860’s.
Spring Street - There was once a spring near where the Regent Theatre is today. A pump and a water trough were put up there too. The Springwell Brewery was situated on the corner of Spring & Willow Streets, and Clarke’s (later Hall’s) Cordial Factory next to the site of the Regent Theatre.
The Strand - Originally known as the Beach.
Wharf Street - The town wharf lay at the end of this street. The Victoria, or cattle wharf lay at the end of Harington Street.
Willow Street - “Old residents will remember that Willow Street was named after a group of willows thereabouts. From this original group of willows Mr Thomas Wrigley planted some cuttings along his boundaries to Hamilton and Willow Streets and for many years the trees planted by this gentleman were the “raison d’etre” for Willow Street being so named. The tree at the junction of these streets was cut down yesterday. In years to come this may be of interest to succeeding generations of townsmen” - Bay of Plenty Times, 28th July, 1882.