Three new street signs that feature a poppy flower were unveiled in Masterton on Sunday as part of a nationwide initiative which recognises New Zealand's military history.

The Places of Remembrance Project is about identifying and recording New Zealand street names that have a connection to the country's overseas war efforts.

New street signs were unveiled on Freyberg St and Jellicoe St in Solway, and on Allenby St in Lansdowne.

The three streets have now been added to the national list of streets now known as "Poppy Places".


The project by the New Zealand Poppy Places Trust is one of many initiatives encouraged by the Government to commemorate the centenary of World WarI.

At the unveiling of the Freyberg St sign, Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson said it was fitting the project's launch in Wairarapa had come at a time of remembrance.

"It's great that we are recognising the history of our street names, and particularly at this time. It's a way to highlight their relevance, and in a way for the young ones to understand."

Each "Poppy Place" street sign has a QR code from which people can learn more about the project.

Project manager and trustee of the New Zealand Poppy Places Trust, Joseph Bolton, said there were now 64 streets in New Zealand identified as Poppy Places.

However, he estimates there to be "about 3000" street names in the country with a connection to New Zealand's military service overseas.

Mr Bolton, from Upper Hutt, said the trust was fundraising through a Givealittle page to develop the website so all 64 stories to date could be accessed online by the general public.

War historian Neil Frances, who works at the Wairarapa Archive, did the background research on the street names in Masterton, identifying those to be recognised as Poppy Places.

General Bernard Freyberg commanded New Zealand forces in World War II. He was a Victoria Cross winner, a decoration earned from his service in World War I, and was a New Zealand governor-general post World War II.

Lord John Jellicoe led the British Navy in WWI and then in 1920 became a governor-general of New Zealand. General Edmund Allenby commanded New Zealand troops, amongst others, in the Palestine Campaign in WWI.

Mr Frances said the project was "a lovely idea" and he suspected, as his research on Wairarapa street names continued, there would be more Poppy Places identified in the district.

Masterton RSA president and RNZRSA national vice president Bob Hill praised the New Zealand Poppy Places Trust for their "wonderful" initiative, saying the RSA supported it 100 per cent. "It's another way of remembering the people who served and their poppy streets will be here forever."