Road's name gets farmer's approval

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 04/02/2013

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The news of a newly christened road in the Tararua District has delighted a Woodville farmer with its recognition of local history, but he thinks the council could take it one step further.

As the straightening of a State Highway 2 carriageway nears completion, more than 1.5 kilometres of new highway has been created, leaving a short link road between Woodville and Dannevirke.

The road, which has been straightened through the NZ Transport Agency's Papatawa Realignment project, was transferred from the agency to the Tararua District Council last week, and named Elliott Rd.

Woodville farmer Noel Cunningham, who lives near the new stretch of road, said he was delighted to see the name for the 650-metre length of new local road approved.

"In this fast-paced world it's nice to see a little local history salvaged."

The Elliott family lived on the site in the early 1900s and were the first settlers of the land when the government opened up the ballot blocks there, he said.

It is thought the Elliott family were relatives of Sir Keith Elliott, one of a small group of New Zealanders awarded the Victoria Cross.

Other possible titles for the track included naming it after the long-term residents, the Cunninghams.

"Having our family's name suggested didn't do justice to the history of this site," Mr Cunningham said.

Nearby Martin Rd, which is 700m long and intersects the highway, has also been extended a further 895m in naming rights and in roading networks. But Mr Cunningham said he disapproved of Martin Rd being extended and linking to the new stretch of State Highway 2.

"I believe that Condoit Rd, historically know as Conduit Rd in another era, should extend and continue to be the linking road as its name intends... and maybe the spelling typo could be fixed at the same time too, please."

It was the link path to the Papatawa Railway Station which serviced the district for years, Mr Cunningham said.

"It is also this road name that people associate with when travelling from the highway to the valley, and another piece of history and present that needs to be protected for this area, and local businesses that it serves."

The council report said extending Condoit Rd would require re-issuing more than 3km worth of Rapid numbers - the rural address property identification system used for numbering rural properties in New Zealand.

However, if Martin Rd was extended it affected "far fewer properties", with only two residences and postal addresses needing to be attended to.

Residents had been spoken to and the recommendations for Elliott Rd and Martin Rd seemed acceptable, the council said.

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- Manawatu Standard

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