In a suburb which seemed, at the end of the nineteenth century, to be full of well-to-do businessmen and Congregational, Methodist or Presbyterian church folk, it is a surprise to find a name like Poutawera.
Thomas George Poutawera, or Tamati, was, indeed, a property owner in Mt Victoria in the 1890’s. He bought two sections on the Victoria Block in 1896 and built a house there which he called Rahiri. The house still stands, at No. 15 Porritt Avenue.The Victoria Block was the last major subdivision on Mt Victoria. It consisted of the seven town acres of the Gray Estate, bordered by Brougham, Austin and Ellice Streets. The Grays sold the land in 1893 and development of the Block started with the creation of three new streets in 1894: Brougham Avenue (now Armour Avenue), Tutchen Street (now Porritt Avenue) and Victoria Avenue (now Albany Avenue). Water, drainage and gas were soon laid on. The design of the house built for Thomas Poutawera was submitted to Council in 1894, but the house was presumably not built till 1896.