Can­nons Creek named af­ter spring

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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