A new road due to open will honour one of the world's greatest rugby stars - Jonah Lomu - just a few metres from where he once played as a schoolboy.

Jonah Lomu Drive was officially blessed by kaumatua, members of Tainui and a church minister in an intimate ceremony with friends and family yesterday.

Members of the Lomu family, including wife Nadene and their two sons, Dhyreille and Brayley, gathered with staff and students from Wesley College, as well as Lomu's mother Hepi and brother John Lomu.

Nadene Lomu with her two sons, Brayley Lomu and Dhyreille Lomu and Jonah's mother Hepi Lomu at the naming of Jonah Lomu Drive, Paerata. Photo / Michael Craig
Nadene Lomu with her two sons, Brayley Lomu and Dhyreille Lomu and Jonah's mother Hepi Lomu at the naming of Jonah Lomu Drive, Paerata. Photo / Michael Craig

Long-time friend and fellow All Black legend Sir Michael Jones was also there.

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They were welcomed in a powhiri that was emotional for both Lomu's mother and wife, who cried gently as they walked the newly cemented street.

Jonah Lomu Dr is the first street to be named as part of a new housing development happening in Paerata, dubbed Paerata Rise, just north of Pukekohe.

It will cater to up to 4500 houses to be built on the foundations of the Wesley College Trust. The development is being managed by the Methodist Church's Grafton Downs Ltd.

Speaking to the Herald, Nadene Lomu said it was an honour to have her husband acknowledged in such a way, but admitted he may have been somewhat embarrassed about it.

Jonah Lomu's brother John Lomu and Sir Michael Jones at the naming of Jonah Lomu Drive, Paerata. Photo / Michael Craig
Jonah Lomu's brother John Lomu and Sir Michael Jones at the naming of Jonah Lomu Drive, Paerata. Photo / Michael Craig

"Jonah was a very big but humble person. I think he would probably be quite shy of something like this, but I think it's very deserving and most humbling to see.

"We're really excited to see the development grow and for the children to learn more about the school that their dad was a part of - and for the street sign to be put up.''

She said it was fitting that the road that will bear Jonah's name is directly opposite the rugby fields he once played on and which would ultimately be the start of a great career.

"There's just so much significance here, which is really special to be a part of. To be able to say that there is a street named after Jonah Lomu in New Zealand, I think it is a wonderful thing.

"I also think it's a very fitting tribute to Jonah for the imprint that he's left on many heart of the old boys here at Wesley and the ones who are presently here. But also for the generations to come through."

Advertising for blocks on the street have already popped up online.

Jonah Lomu Dr will feature wide cycleways and footpaths, as well as double planting paths that will mean for extra trees on the street.

Nadene Lomu with her sons, Brayley Lomu and Dhyreille Lomu at the naming of Jonah Lomu Drive, Paerata. Photo / Michael Craig
Nadene Lomu with her sons, Brayley Lomu and Dhyreille Lomu at the naming of Jonah Lomu Drive, Paerata. Photo / Michael Craig

Reverend Ali'itasi Salesa acknowledged those who would live and grow up in homes on the road - and hoped that they would dream as Jonah Lomu did.

"There are roads that serve as our beginnings...and certain paths that impress on you. We're on a road that will be a constant reminder and talking point of a much-loved old boy. It's like we've come full circle.''