Last month, the Avondale Community Board endorsed the naming of a new street through the development of the old Connell Brothers property on Rosebank as "Jomac Place". I did offer four alternatives to better reflect Avondale's heritage and the nearby geography (when I found out by reading the agenda a few days before the meeting), but these were turned down. Deputy Mayor David Hay felt that the developers were entitled to name the street after themselves, and that was that. The majority of the Board went along with that. (Board Chairman Duncan Macdonald liked the idea of the first two options I suggested, though).
The alternatives suggested were:
Motu Manawa Place (as the Motu Manawa/Pollen Island reserve is right alongside);
Hayward Wright Place (we have yet to see any part of Avondale named after our pioneer nurseryman)
Daniel Connell Place (first of the Connell family to own the property. This option was an outside chance, as there is already a Connell Street in Blockhouse Bay -- no relation);
Robert Chisholm Place (the 19th century owner. Again, an outsider of a chance).
In terms of local street naming, historical societies are rarely consulted. Which is a pity, as then they'd have some local feedback. We are the ones who will live with this street name far longer than the developers will. Ngati Whatua o Orakei were consulted -- and they didn't mind Jomac Place. A pity.
To be fair to Jomac Construction Ltd, they did suggest early on a name linked to Robert Connell, the member of the family who sold the just over 10 hectare property for a reported $12.5 million, but ran into the Blockhouse Bay street name conflict.
So, we're stuck with Jomac Place. At least, this post will tell you why, and who Jomac is. I'd say give it about 10 years or so, and Jomac will become just like Honan Place, also onn Rosebank -- a case of "Who was that?"