A small working party has put forward suggestions for renaming of State Highway 1 through parts of Kapiti, which honours people who have contributed to biculturalism in the district.

Council invited the community to have a say on name options for the existing State Highway 1 from Paekakariki to Peka Peka.

The highway will lose its classification as a state highway when it becomes a local road within two years of the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway opening, meaning it could no longer be named a state highway for address and identification purposes.

The community was given until April 14 to submit names to the council who would make the final decision on what the name or names should be.

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The working party comprised Rupene Waaka (Ngati Raukawa), Hohepa Potini (Ngati Toarangatira), Ra Higgott, (Te Ati Awa ki Waikanae, Ngatitoa, Ngati Raukawa) and local historian Anthony Dreaver.

Existing names had been avoided, all members of the group had submitted names for consideration, recommendations were the group's collective agreement and the names were selected from Kapiti history since 1820.

The names were:
* Peka Peka/Te Kowhai to Hemi St, Waikanae - Unaiki
* Hadfield Rd connection - Katu
* Waikanae township - Kakakura
* Waikanae to Paraparaumu North - Rauoterangi
* Kapiti to Poplar - Hokowhitu
* Poplar to Paekakariki - Hurumutu.

"The names that we recommend honour people who in different ways contributed to today's bi-cultural Kapiti region," the report said.

"Taken together their names form a chain of founders of the region. Five of them name community leaders dating from the original settlement of the northern iwi in the 1820s through to the founding of villages along the line of rail in the 1890s.

"The other name, Hokowhitu, is chosen in this centenary year of the First World War as the name of the Maori contingent at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, that included a strong party from Kapiti."

More than 400 people took the time to provide feedback and to put forward suggestions for renaming State Highway 1 (SH1), though part of Kapiti, once it becomes a local road.

Mayor K Gurunathan said it was great to see so many people taking an interest in the council's SH1 renaming conversation.

"All names suggested by the community will now be put into the mix including those names put forward by representatives/historians from the district's three iwi and a council-nominated local historian.

"The council will work through a process to assess all suggestions received against the Criteria for SH1 Renaming and a shortlist of possible names will be developed in consultation with community boards and councillors before a final decision is made by the full council."

The process of renaming SH1 was being funded by the NZ Transport Agency as part of the Kapiti Coast District Council's SH1 revocation agreement with the NZ Transport Agency.

The council expected to reach a decision on renaming SH1 before the end of the year and would notify and work with affected property owners, business operators and emergency services to ensure a smooth transition to the new road namesThis could take up to 24 months.

Name explanations, from the working party report were:

UNAIKI, 1839 to 1891

Unaiki Pukehi, of Ngati Raukawa and Ngati Toa, was born at the time of the battle Kuititanga. Her father was Te Pukehi of the Ngati Turanga hapu of Ngati Raukawa and her mother was Harata Tihake of Ngati Toa and Ngati Rahiri. In 1852, she married the Waikanae leader, Wi Parata Te Kakakura. They had many children, whose descendants remain in the district. She would have been centre of the family in the kainga at Tukurakau and in the move to a large new house beside Whakarongotai marae when the railway was built. Her role would have been especially vital during her husband's frequent absences on political duties. Her portrait by Gottfried Lindauer in 1877 portrays a warm, beautiful and dignified person. Unaiki died at Manakau, Horowhenua, in 1891 and is buried in Ruakohatu urupa beside St Luke's Church, Waikanae.

KATU, 1820(?) to 1870

Katu, of Ngati Toa, also known as Tamihana Te Rauparaha, was the son of the great chief Te Rauparaha and his senior wife, Te Akau. He was born during the migration from Taranaki to the south. He accompanied his father on war expeditions to the South Island and later wrote about these events. He became a peacemaker rather than a warrior when he and his cousin Matene Te Whiwhi travelled to the Bay of Islands in 1839 to seek a missionary. He signed the Treaty of Waitangi on Kapiti Island on 14 May 1840. He was an evangelist with Octavius Hadfield and after his father was arrested he influenced people at Otaki not to take revenge. A visit to England in 1852, when he met Queen Victoria, convinced him that a Maori King was needed to bring law and security to the Maori people. The role was accepted by Te Wherowhero in 1858.Katu became a successful sheepfarmer in the Pekapeka area and was appointed a senior assessor for disputes in court.

KAKAKURA, 1830s to 1906

Wiremu (Wi) Te Kakakura Parata MHR, MLC was born on Kapiti Island in the mid-1830s. His mother, Metapere Wai-punahau, was daughter of Te Rangi-hiroa whose wife, Pohe, was chieftainess of Kaitangata hapu of Te Atiawa. His father, George Stubbs, was a whaler and trader who drowned in a boating accident off Pukerua Bay about 1838. Kakakura spent his childhood at the palisaded pa of Ngatiawa at Kenakena. His mother was influential in land dealings when the community moved from Kenakena to the newly-established native village called Tukurakau, which was north of Waikanae River on the seaward side of Greenaway Road. Kakakura married Unaiki in 1852 and had many children. He had an extensive farm on Kapiti Island.


In 1871 he was elected to Parliament as member for Western Maori, speaking strongly in favour of laws that took account of the needs of both people and for the return of confiscated land in Taranaki. He became a supporter of Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and established a house at Parihaka.


In 1886, when the railway was built, he moved his residence to today's town centre, relocated the meeting-house Whakarongotai, had St Luke's Church shifted from Tukurakau on to land that he provided in Elizabeth Street, and built and operated successful accommodation, Mahara House. The principal buildings of Waikanae were all Maori. His land east of the railway, subdivided for sale in 1897, was known as the Township of Parata. This was the early commercial centre of the town and a number of its early buildings survive.


After his accidental death in 1906 he was buried in Ruakohatu urupa beside St Luke's Church. His descendants have been prominent in the community through several generations.

RAUOTERANGI, c.1817 to 1871
Kahe Te Rau-o-te-rangi, also known as Kahe/Peeti/Betty Nicoll, was old enough to walk on Te Rauparaha's migration from northern Taranaki to Kapiti Island in 1821. From 1832 she worked with her Pakeha husband, Jock Nicoll, as a trader between Marlborough Sounds and the Whanganui River. She became famous for swimming from Kapiti Island to the mainland with a child strapped to her back to raise the alarm when Ngati Toa were attacked by a war party from the south. In her honour, the channel was named Te Rau-o-te-rangi. Being a leader with mana, she was one of only five women to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. She formally married Jock in 1841 and in 1844 was baptised by Octavius Hadfield. In 1845 she and her husband opened an inn at Paekakariki for travellers on the new Paekakariki Hill Road. Governor George Grey was one of many prominent people who stayed there. Nicoll and Kahe owned land near Waikanae town centre called Rauoterangi Block, named after her.
Her grandson by her daughter Mere and Wiremu Naera Pomare was Sir Maui Pomare, a medical doctor and cabinet minister.

HOKOWHITU
When World War I broke out, these 27 men from the district between Paekakariki and Levin promptly volunteered for service in the Native Contingent. They began training in October 1914 and landed on Gallipoli in July 1915. Their regimental badge was 'Te Hokowhitu-a-Tu'.
Their unit was originally intended for garrison duties, but they were soon involved in fighting, with heavy casualties. Pahia Ropata was one of the first Maori killed in action at Gallipoli. Following evacuation to France, they and the Otago Mounted Rifles were formed into a pioneer battalion, building trenches and roads, but fully involved in the conflict. In 1917, having been reinforced, they were reformed as the New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer Battalion. The contingent received a rousing welcome when they returned to New Zealand in 1919. A Maori Pioneer rugby team toured the country for a series of provincial games. Throughout the war more than 2,500 men served overseas in Te Hokowhitu a Tu, including 470 Pacific Islanders. Casualties included 336 men killed on active service, and over 700 wounded.

HURUMUTU, 1805 to 1875

Ropata Hurumutu (seated left) was a warrior chief of high birth of Ngati Toa (Ngati Haumia and Ngati Te Ra). He came south with Te Rauparaha and fought at the battles of Waiorua (Kapiti Island 1824), Haowhenua (1834) and Kuititanga (1839). In 1834 he settled as leader at Wainui, just north of Paekakariki. His wife Oriwia was a daughter of the Ngati Toa chief, Tungia. The people of Wainui were hospitable to travellers, missionaries and fugitives from battle. In 1850, the 196 inhabitants had 40 huts, an Anglican and a Wesleyan chapel, and a daily school. They farmed numerous livestock, grew wheat, kumara and potatoes and prepared flax for sale. After British annexation, Hurumutu was spokesperson for his community with government agents. When the Crown bought the Wainui and Whareroa Blocks in 1858, he was the key person in defining boundaries and setting out reserves. He rented land at Ramaroa (Mackay's Crossing) to Alexander Mackay. Today's road runs beside Wainui's cultivation area. The name of Hurumutu, with other chiefs of the region, appears frequently as co-signatory in documents addressed to the government dealing with land and political matters.