Street names should depict city history

Street names that better reflect Dunedin's history could soon be popping up in new developments around the city.

Dunedin City Council staff are working on a new policy that would provide guidelines to developers planning to name new streets within subdivisions and other projects.

The policy, which was still in draft form, was expected to be completed by March next year, councillors at infrastructure services committee this week were told.

It would not initially provide a list of pre-approved names, as has happened in some other centres, but could be expanded to do so if desired, council land information team leader Rob Garrett told councillors.

The council was responsible for approving proposed street names suggested by developers, but differences in tastes had triggered debate in the past.

The new policy was welcomed by Cr Kate Wilson.

"I think it's about time we started reflecting the heritage or other aspects of Dunedin's history in naming [streets]. It's about starting to show to culture of the town," she said.

Cr Richard Walls also supported the move, saying he had encountered awful street names in other parts of the world and did not want to see a repeat in Dunedin.

"I think it's important," he said.

Cr John Bezett said council staff should be actively researching the local histories of areas within the city likely to be in need of new street names due to imminent development.

Council information support officer Bruce Hall reiterated the draft policy would only offer guidelines to developers at this stage.

The debate came as councillors voted to accept Sir John Thorn Dr as the new name of State Highway 88 between Roseneath and Port Chalmers.

Sir John, who died last year aged 97, was involved in local government for 60 years and was mayor of Port Chalmers for 33 years.

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