Cannons Creek named after spring
Cannons Creek was named after the stream flowing through the area but there’s debate about who that was named after.
The Porirua council website says the stream was valued in the area because it came from a spring at Cannons Head instead of being collected by rain water like most other local streams.
Some people say it was named after William Cannons who was a saw miller in the Tawa area in the 1860s.
While others say it was a local scrub cutter who worked in the area in the late 19th century.
Whoever it was named after, the name was in place by the time the area was mapped in the 1880s.
The suburb of Cannons Creek grew out of rolling farmland east of the motorway.
Farming in the area was mainly by four families, the Sievers, Mexteds, Mahers and Windleys.
The families ran both sheep and dairy herds there until gradually the land was taken for housing from the 1930s.
The main growth of housing didn’t really begin until the 1950s post-war baby boom caused a housing shortage throughout New Zealand.
More than 2,700 state houses were built with street names for the area coming from the old families, such as Sievers, and those who bordered on Cannons Creek, like the Mungavins.
Many of the names are old English and Welsh City and County names; Cardiff, Gloucester and Norfolk.
Many more are named for colonial ships from the early years of New Zealand; Warspite, Driver, Astrolabe.
The two small lakes next to the shopping centre were formed in the 1960s when the landscape was transformed for the growing housing estate.
The lakes drain through ‘‘fish ladders’’ which are steps in the river that allow fish to move up and down stream.
A huge number of families, many of them migrants, flooded into Porirua mostly into state houses built during various gov-
ernment building projects.
By 1965, 80 per cent of the houses in East Porirua had been built by the Government raising some concern about the poor balance between state and private housing, but out of these concerns has grown a sense of community solidarity.
Today ‘‘The Creek’’, as it is known, is the centre of the vibrant Pacific Island community.
View of Cannons Creek under construction in 1958, with Porirua East and Tawa in the distance.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visiting state housing in Cannons Creek in 1963.