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Devonport Heritage 2017, an incorporated society formed in 2017, promotes heritage and sustainable development in Devonport.


The case of the disappearing suburb....the re-naming of Stanley Bay

Claudia Page

This is a guest post from one of our members on the strange case of the re-naming of Stanley Bay to Stanley Point. Jeremy has been advocating for the name change to be reversed and is asking for local support. See the 2002 Wise's map image below for the traditional suburb names and locations.

Wise's 2002 map image

When I moved back to Stanley Bay last year, I was surprised to find its name had been changed to Stanley Point. I believed it had been a simple error that somebody had made due to lack of local knowledge. My enquiries found that in 2007 the North Shore City council submitted a list of suburbs to be gazetted by the New Zealand Geographic Board. The name of the suburb of Stanley Bay was changed to Stanley Point. This was done despite the common and historical use of the name Stanley Bay for the suburb since at least the 1900’s, the collection of census data by Statistic New Zealand for Stanley Bay, and surprisingly against the recommendation of the Devonport Local Board that the name remain Stanley Bay.

A Brief History of the Area

Stanley Point was named after Captain Owen Stanley of the HMS Britomart who surveyed the Waitemata Harbour in 1841.

Historically, the locality referred to as Stanley Point consists of one main street, Stanley Point Road, running from the bay up to the point with two small streets, First Avenue and Second Avenue, running off it.

Stanley Bay was originally referred to as Brick Bay. A brick works was sited there from 1844 to the 1850s Calliope Road was constructed in the 1850s and after the establishment of the dry dock and the naval base the area was subdivided and settled. In 1899, the Harbour Board recognised the change of name from Brick Bay to Stanley Bay and in 1900 a ferry service to a new Stanley Bay Wharf started. By 1909 the population had grown and Stanley Bay School was established in Russell Street. In the 1920s, the Stanley Bay Improvement Association formed to reclaim part of Ngataringa Bay to form Stanley Bay Park, the recreation grounds house the Ngataringa Tennis Club (1927) and the former Girl Guides den.

The Stanley Bay area has eleven streets running off or parallel to Calliope Road, plus the Navy Base and accommodations, the Naval Hospital Buildings and the dry dock and Naval dockyards.

The Census defines Stanley Bay as the area west of Shoal Bay Road with a population of 2187 residents and, due to the dockyards, a working population of over 2000.

Documentation of the Name Change

The North Shore City Council report on the second (and final) consultation process records the following comments on the name change from Stanley Bay to Stanley Point (Advice of Action page 6, attached):

Devonport Community Board


·       Stanley Point suburb area marked on the second draft map is to be divided to Stanley Bay and Stanley Point suburbs.


·       After further consultation with Councillor Dianne Hale and Andrew Eaglen, it was agreed that the area indicated for Stanley Bay was too small. Therefore Stanley Point suburb names remains as it is and Roslyn Terrace is the eastern boundary of the suburb.


I believe that it was in these comments and this decision that a mistake was made, because the old Stanley Bay area was considerably larger than the Stanley Point area which, as mentioned, comprised only three streets. However, a North Shore City Council-erected map at the Devonport Wharf entrance (still extant) showing the localities of Devonport has the names Stanley Bay and Stanley Point around the wrong way. It shows Stanley Bay as sitting to the west of Stanley Point and suggests that it is Stanley Bay which has only three streets. The map is wrong, but it may explain the decision that was made

As the evidence suggests that the name change from Stanley Bay to Stanley Point may have been based on an error, I believe it warrants being revisited and reconsidered.

The N Z Geographic Board advises that the name can be changed back to Stanley Bay with support from the community and the Devonport Takapuna local board.


please e-mail your support to us and we will forward your details to Jeremy