Riccarton Community Hub

What's happening in Riccarton, and where to find it

What’s in a name – Riccarton

Where did our beloved suburb's name come from?

The Deans brothers named their new home ‘Riccarton’ in 1843 after their parish in Ayrshire in Scotland.  The Māori name for the area was (and still is) Putaringamotu which means the ‘place of the echo’ or ‘the place of the severed ear’.  In 1844 in a letter back to Scotland, John Deans wrote “as a place for settlement it will certainly be much better than any of the other settlements in New Zealand.”  He went on to say – ‘there is a wood about 200 acres in extent at the back of our houses, and a river of water clearer than crystal (indeed the finest water I ever saw) running past the front.’  The Deans brothers also named the Avon River after the river that bounded their grandfather’s property in Scotland, just as the new Avon did their own in Riccarton.