-ad 101-

Exploring Wellington’s History: An Old Map of Wellington by the New Zealand Company in 1840

Explore the fascinating history of Wellington, New Zealand with this old map from the New Zealand Company in 1840. Learn about the colonization of New Zealand and the founding of the city of Wellington. Discover the story behind this remarkable map!
-ad 104-

How cool is this old map of Wellington? It’s a plan of Wellington by the New Zealand Company in 1840. For those of you not from New Zealand or not familiar with its history, it’s quite fascinating. The New Zealand Company began in London as an organization dedicated to the colonization of New Zealand. This was largely advocated for by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who was looking to create a modern English society in Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand Company plan of the Town of Wellington, Port Nicholson, 1840


Source: Archives New Zealand

Below is the extended caption.

On 22 January 1840, the first of the New Zealand Company’s fleet of six immigrant ships, the Aurora, arrived in Pito-one (Petone), marking the founding of the settlement that would become known as Wellington. They had bet William Hobson to Aotearoa New Zealand by seven days; their efforts of self-government would become the cause of some concern to Hobson as he gathered signatures for te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The new town, named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, was established to promote a British colony in New Zealand. William Wakefield, the Company’s New Zealand agent, left instructions for the settlement to be laid out around Lambton Harbour. However, the Company’s chief surveyor, William Mein Smith, placed the town near the mouth of the Hutt River. Unfortunately, early European inhabitants of the region did not realise that the Hutt River was prone to flooding. On his return from England a few months later, Wakefield moved the town to less flood-prone Lambton Harbour. The land had not been sold by its Māori occupants, but this did not stop the company subdividing it into town acres. One tenth of these were kept for Māori use. A green reserve running around the edge of the settlement was also set aside. This became known as the Town Belt.

This is a copy of the New Zealand Company plan of Wellington, Port Nicholson. The original map was dated 14 August 1840, and shows the planned town sections. The land reserved for Māori is coloured in green.

Archives Reference: AATE W4920 Box 79



Recommended For You

A Romantic View of Penn Station in 1910
A Remarkable Image of Shanghai, China in the 1910s
Remember San Diego in the 1970s? Great Photos & a Book about the Gaslamp Quarter
1900 Colorized Image of Stuyvesant Docks in New Orleans
A Stunning Look at San Francisco Bay's Golden Gate in 1901
A Fascinating Look Back at Auckland in 1909 with the Rotorua Express
-ad 105-
-ad 103-

Featured Photos

A Fascinating Look Back: The 1885 Birdseye View of Phoenix, Arizona
A Rare Look at the Beatles: An Iconic Photo Taken by Richard Avedon in 1968
A Wonderful Old Photo of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
A Glimpse into the Past: A 1971 Photo of Los Angeles International Airport
The confluence of the Irtysh and Tobol rivers in the Russian Empire. Photograpy by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, 1912.
A Look Back at the Russian Empire 100 Years Ago
James Garfield and Lucretia Rudolph
Remembering James Garfield and His Wife Lucretia Rudolph on the Anniversary of Their Engagement
Ulysses S. Grant Writing His Memoirs - Fascinating Photo of a Formerly Powerful Man
Stunning Photos of Perth, Australia in the 1930s
Take a Trip Back in Time: Check Out New York City Over 170 Years Ago
Take a Look at the Stunning View of Mt. Rainier in Seattle in 1921

Get Your Daily Dose of History