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Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


Petone's First Streets.

Early in the history of Wellington the New Zealand Land Company provided a road to Petone. Reporting to the directors in London, in May, 1842, Colonel Wakefield says:—
" Nearly six miles in length with sufficient width the whole way for two carriages to pass. The distance may appear small, but the difficulties to contend with were considerable. The road
which follows the beach line is, throughout its whole extent, built far above the influence of the tide, and consequently walls of rough masonry were necessary on the side next to the sea while the other side had to be cut out of hills."
This road passed on through Petone in almost exactly the same position as it occupies to-day, except that there was a break from the Koro Koro stream to a point where Jackson Street now junctions. Travellers at that time went along the beach to the Maori Pa, and then went through the paddock along what is now Te Puni Street. This and White's Line were the only real streets Petone possessed until the formation of the Town Board, in 1882. Some roads had, of course, been surveyed before that date, but none had been formed. The first to be formed was Nelson Street from the beach to what is now Jackson Street (or to be absolutely correct to within the width of one section)—and twenty-one sections were laid out on either side. It was called Petone Avenue at first, because it was planned to make it Petone's main business street which would be carried through to the Hutt Road.
The next subdivision was the land off Bay and Beach Street. In the meantime, Jackson Street had informally come into being. Mr. E. Jackson being the owner of the land gave rights-of-way through his property as sections were sold. These rights-of-way were not always the same width, not in line with one another, which accounts for the angles and various widths of road that have from time to time been straightened and widened.
The earliest plan of the Petone Town District shows Jackson Street running from Petone Avenue to Beach Street.
If you desired to go to the railway station, you went round by Petone Avenue or through the Gear Meat Company's paddocks.
The next subdivision was the land on either side of Richmond Street south, which was followed by the land served by Victoria Street south, Fitzherbert Street south, Sydney Street south, and Union Street. A short extension of Nelson Street, about five chains in length, north of Jackson Street, followed, after which came the extension of the same street to Udy Street. An exception to the usual subdivision was made in the case of Britannia Street, which was cut up into sections three chains wide. This street had a dead end—Udy Street not being extended. Richmond Street, as far as Udy Street followed, and this, as far as can be ascertained, completed the subdivision of the Petone Town District.

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