Dr. Cockayne was described by other renowned plant experts like Lord Bledisloe as "the greatest of the Empire's botanists".
"Unrecognised and unlabelled at first, Cockayne in New Zealand was already an ecologist waiting for the term to be adopted by botanists, and fully trained to lead the way, not in New Zealand only, but in the world." - Sir Arthur Hill, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
The street came to be known as Cockayne Road in 1935. Prior to this it was known as a portion of Old Porirua Road.