About Poppy Places

"In this country in a dreamed-of future, men will remember names of desert places that have been dignified by fighting, battle honours of a small country, of that New Zealand of the past, and they will share these things as part of a history that will be dear to them."

“Report on Experience: The Memoir of the Allies War" by John Mulgan, OUP 1947

They went off to war and many died, the nation mourned and slowly commemorated them in various ways. All over New Zealand we have remembered them through the naming of streets and buildings, by the planting of trees, and through erecting individual monuments.

The Poppy is the most powerful and easily recognised symbol of both courage and sacrifice that we have as New Zealanders.

The Places of Remembrance project is about ensuring we never forget. It is about a place where our heroes' contributions and their stories are linked to the physical via the simple placement of a poppy. The genesis of the project is in knowing that many of our street names and places are directly related to people and events from overseas military history. And that this is often known to only a small and shrinking number of citizens.  

By using the Poppy (an internationally known symbol) to mark these places, those that pass by will see the Poppy and be reminded every time of ANZAC.

The New Zealand Poppy Places Trust has been established to develop, promote, and oversee a nation-wide project to commemorate and recognise as part of the heritage of New Zealanders, the participation of New Zealand in military conflicts and military operational services overseas. The Places of Remembrance project will encourage all New Zealanders in local communities to:

  • Identify places in New Zealand which have a link to our military involvement in a conflict or operational service overseas
  • Research and record the history of these places on the poppyplaces.org.nz website
  • Link the physical with the recorded history, by joining the community in an organised remembrance ceremony to educate and to forever mark the place/monument with a poppy

In addition the Poppy Places Trust will:

  • Generally promote the education and awareness of New Zealanders about our military history and heritage and the association with place names
  • Work with local, regional, and central government, the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association, New Zealand Defence Force, heritage genealogy and other organisations or community groups to advance the objectives of the trust
  • Establish and maintain a central repository of poppy Places as verified by the Trustees
  • Share the research and records for the benefit of the community and the national heritage of New Zealand

The Places

While many New Zealanders have learned of Gallipoli, the Somme, and Passchendaele, how many of us know the story behind place names such as Messines Road? Seddul Bahr Road? Marne Road? Or the many other places such as the surviving oak trees planted outside the Tomoana Freezing Works dedicated to the 24 staff that lost their lives in World War II.

Throughout New Zealand there are numerous places named after ordinary New Zealanders who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Places such as Nigel and Frickleton Streets, Selwyn Road, and many more.

The Poppy Places Trust believes there are perhaps 3000 places which if left to history may disappear from our collective consciousness. Our aim is to provide a "place" where these stories can be captured and forever stored. Each place will be marked with the placement of the official Poppy flower of the Returned Serviceman’s Association. The RSA has given the Trust the authority to use the poppy.

Just like our logo for poppyplaces.nz, a Poppy will appear on the Street sign to designate its significance and history while its individual story will be preserved on our website. The New Zealand Transport Agency has authorised the poppy to be placed on the street signs.

The Poppy may also be placed on memorials and plaques to denote their significance and also that the story can be accessed from our website.

Meet our Trustees

Click here to Meet our Trustees