The Maori name most associated with Point Chevalier is Rangi-mata-rau (but this, strictly, is the beach area are Harbour View Reserve. The earliest name post-1840 was Point Bunbury, after one of the staff under Governor William Hobson who assisted with gathering signatures on the Treaty of Waitangi. This name, however, appears on only one map, and is forgotten today.
Most of the original surveyed allotments were sold during the mid 1840s under Crown Grant. The earliest development was the establishment of the Low & Motion flour mill at the eastern edge of Western Springs, at Motions Creek, from c.1848.
Around 1858, 127 acres just to the east of the study area, including the Meola Reef area, was designated as a rifle range. The earliest military camp at Pt Chevalier dates from January 1859 at the earliest, most likely on part of the farm owned by Patrick Dignan. From this activity comes Point Chevalier’s name: Ensign George Robert Chevalier legendary target shooting challenge at the camp, which he won around 1859. From that date, “Point Chevalier” became the name of first the camp, and then the district.
A new rifle range was opened up at the end of Target Street in 1867, and was in use until 1871. This was later a site of market gardens, and later still, Selwyn Retirement Village