Laura Fergusson Grove derives its name from the Laura Fergusson Trust, an organisation that has been providing independent lifestyle opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities since 1972. At the time the Laura Fergusson Community was only located in Hamerton Street, Naenae. It comprises purpose-built motel-style units and self-contained flats designed to support people with physical disabilities.
After acquiring the adjacent land, accessible from Summit Road, it aims to expand the existing facilities and create an “abilities” hub that can be enjoyed by both residents and the wider community. The trust is named after the late Laura Fergusson, the wife of Sir Bernard Fergusson, a former Governor General of New Zealand. Laura Fergusson personally visited numerous institutions and witnessed the pressing need to develop a positive support structure for young people with disabilities who were residing in inadequate residential care. Her vision, which is exemplified by the Naenae community, aimed to create an environment where individuals with disabilities could fulfil their potential.
The name “Laura Fergusson Grove” for the new street holds significant meaning as it will provide accessible access for people with physical disabilities, their families, and friends to the facilities provided by the Laura Fergusson Community. This name serves as a tangible recognition and affirmation of Laura Fergusson’s visionary ideals.
It is worth noting that the local iwi also considered another name for the street: Arthur Pitt Place. This name reflects the earlier settlement and ownership of the area by Mr. Arthur Pitt (also known as Arthur Pitt Porutu), who acquired the land in 1919. Mr. Pitt’s ownership included the old Plant Nursery in Summit Road and the portion of land now owned by UrbanPlus Ltd.
The name was selected on the 5th April 2011 by the Eastern Community Committee which includes the background information for this street name. i