New names for disgraced Marylands School street and reserve


Even the name of the street disgraced Marylands School was on will be obliterated. A new name for the Christchurch street and its adjacent reserve is being sought.

Nobody wants to remember Marylands Place and Marylands Reserve.

Both are associated with abuse of children and young people.

One in five of the boys who attended the residential school run by the St John of God brothers reported being abused there.

That sorry statistic is detailed in an interim report released in 2023 for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

The report described the institution as “hell on earth”.

The new name

Next week, a Christchurch City Council community board is to consider a name for the street and park.

Board chairman Callum Ward said the Royal Commission recommended changing the street and park names. That recommendation echoes calls from survivors from the disgraced Catholic school.

“There are two main options on the table [as the new name for the street], one is Validation, the other is Monarch.

“Both of those name suggestions were provided by the survivors themselves” Ward said.

“Survivors spoke of not being believed, or even listened to, for a long time and they put forward the name Validation. It’s an acknowledgement of their experiences and symbolic of them taking back power over what happened.”

The survivors find the name Monarch, for the monarch butterfly, symbolic.

“We’ve worked closely with survivors… to find a name that recognises their experiences, acknowledges the traumatic association of the name, and contributes to puretumu torowhānui, or historic redress” Ward said.

If after the current public consultation phase the names are approved, the new street and park name change will be made from 4 June.

Sexual harm

Where to get help:

If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone, contact Safe to Talk confidentially, any time 24/7:

• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
• Email
• For more info or to web chat visit

Alternatively contact your local police station – click here for a list.

If you have been sexually assaulted, remember it’s not your fault.




Additional reading

News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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