News | 16 December 2021

Street Smart: Street name themes by suburb

Brooklyn has its American political figures, Khandallah has Indian places. What other suburbs have themed street names?

A photo in Island Bay from 1991 looking down onto the little harbour and boats.
Island Bay (1991) where streets are named after European rivers. Wellington City Libraries, 50014-364-230. Photograph by Derek Smith.

If you’ve ever travelled through the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn, you may well have noticed a political pattern in the street names. 

There’s Garfield Street, named after the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, who was killed by an assassin in 1881. Then there’s streets named after McKinley (25th president, also assassinated), Taft (27th president), Coolidge (30th), and Cleveland (22nd and 24th). 

Washington Avenue and Lincoln Street are pretty obvious, although we’re struggling to remember a President Dorking. Brooklyn’s theme of American political figures is clear and well-known, but what other suburbs have themed street names? 

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of suburbs currently considered to have a predominant naming theme:  

Brooklyn
American political figures  


Churton Park
Small English towns and settlements 


Crofton Downs
Churchill family 


Glenside
Farms and local geographic features 


Grenada Village and Grenada North
Caribbean names 


Hataitai
Māori names (predominantly flora and fauna) 

A black and white photo of a road patroller guiding four children across a zebra crossing on Cleveland Street in Brooklyn in 1976.
Children crossing Cleveland Street in Brooklyn in 1976. Wellington City Libraries, 50003-2202. Photograph by Charles Fearnley.

Island Bay
European rivers 

Karori
People important to the history of the suburb 

Khandallah
Indian places  

Ngaio
People important to the history of the suburb 

Redwood (Tawa)
Oxford and Cambridge University Colleges 

Strathmore
Associations with the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne’s Estate 

Wadestown
Early settlers 

Wilton
English counties 

Woodridge
Arboreal  

A green background with a white ball on legs walking with

Wellington City Council looks after more than 700km of streets across the capital, and each one has its own unique story. Check out Our Wellington and our social media channels for more articles, videos and interesting snippets.