1940 - Mathew, Felton. The Founding of New Zealand: The Journals of Felton Mathew, First Surveyor-General of New Zealand, and his Wife, 1840-1847. - Chapter VIII. The Founding Of Auckland, p 177-199

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  1940 - Mathew, Felton. The Founding of New Zealand: The Journals of Felton Mathew, First Surveyor-General of New Zealand, and his Wife, 1840-1847. - Chapter VIII. The Founding Of Auckland, p 177-199
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[Hobson was already impressed with the strategic importance of the Waitemata-Manukau isthmus, and was ready to concur in Mathew's general conclusion that the capital should be established in that quarter. But he was not prepared to have his own suggestion of a particular site up the Waitemata set aside in favour of the Tamaki without again viewing the situation for himself. A fortnight after the date of Mathew's report, therefore, the cutter Ranger was again given orders to proceed to the Waitemata, this time to take the Lieutenant-Governor, attended by Dr. Johnson--for Hobson was still in a weak state of health--and Captain David Rough. On the eve of leaving the Bay of Islands, Hobson wrote to his wife:-- "It is quite determined that the seat of government will be at the Thames." 1 The exact locality within the "Thames" district was still to be decided.

The Ranger reached the Firth of Thames on July 4, and anchored off Waiheke. The next day

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being Sunday, Hobson and his little party attended divine service conducted by Mr. Fairburn at Maraetai. On Monday, they sailed to the Tamaki, but, as Rough records, "though we managed to get up by boat as far as the lagoon, yet the channel appeared to be so intricate that the Governor gave up all idea of selecting that part as the site of an important settlement." 2 Thus ended Mathew's favourite project.

After attending a native assembly, held in "the first bay on the west side of the Tamaki," where the Treaty was duly signed by seven of the Chiefs of the locality, 3 the official party moved on to the Waitemata. Here, as already recorded, 4 Hobson revisited the site he had singled out on his first visit, but was on closer examination profoundly disappointed in it. Apparently it too was definitely rejected at this stage. But the Ponsonby shore, to which Dr. Johnson called attention, and which Rough examined, gave much greater satisfaction. The final decision was not made on the spot, but shortly after the Lieutenant-Governor's return to the Bay of Islands, the southern shore of the Waitemata, just above the entrance of the river, was determined on as the scene of operations.

Early in the month of August, 1840, active preparations were going on at the Bay for the expedition to the Waitemata. Stores were assembled, the Anna Watson was charted for transporting the mechanics to the south, Henry Tucker con-

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tracted to construct a number of frame houses for shipment to the new capital, Mr. Gardiner began work building a boat for the use of David Rough, now appointed Harbour-Master of the Waitemata. Felton Mathew and George Cooper got in early with a request that they might be allowed to select lots in advance of the first sale, so that they could build their houses at once, before the winter, and were permitted to do so on the understanding that they would pay the average price brought in by similar lots at the first sale of Town lands. 5 Mathew also renewed his urgent appeals to the Lieutenant-Governor for additional assistance in the Survey Department. On September 4th, he wrote:-- 6

"... In a country such as this where the demands for land are likely to be so numerous and extensive, and where the local difficulties are of a nature, so trying and severe, it is not to be expected that the labours of a solitary individual, however well directed his efforts, or however strenuous his exertions, can be attended with very important results, or in any degree keep pace with the wants of a daily increasing community....

The public attention has of late, in the agricultural districts of England, been so strongly directed to New Zealand, that numbers of people of this description, will I have no doubt 'ere long be flocking to these shores: --And when I consider the utter want of a Survey force, adequate even to meet the most

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ordinary demand for land in this Colony, I confess that I cannot but entertain the most serious apprehensions for the result. Emigrants of small capital, finding on their arrival, that no provision is made for supplying their wants, and that little probability exists of their attaining the object they have in view, will either quit the country in disgust for the less genial soil and climate of Australia, or if induced to linger on in hope that their wants may be supplied, will speedily expend the capital which ought to be employed in improving their own condition, and in bringing into play, the resources of the country.

My attention has been the more forcibly attracted to this subject, from the circumstance of several cases, such as I have alluded to having recently fallen within the scope of my own observations, in which parties who came hither with every intention of settling in the land, and in the hope of finding immediate employment for their capital in agricultural pursuits, finding that there was no prospect of their being able to obtain land for an indefinite period, have quitted the country disappointed.

... I would submit that the immediate employment of a numerous and efficient Survey force, is an object of primary importance, first as providing the means of instant occupation for emigrants, and secondly, as producing an immediate extensive source of revenue.

... I am of opinion that ample and most useful employment may be found for a

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dozen efficient Surveyors; and although such a force may be supposed to entail on a young Colony an expense which it is scarcely calculated to support, yet I am satisfied that an immediate outlay of that description, would speedily afford the means of filling the Coffers of the Treasury, and would be found essentially the most economical measure that could be adopted.

I would beg to point out to His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, how highly advantageous it would prove to the Colony, if, while with a part of such a Survey Staff I was engaged in laying out the Capital, and prosecuting a Survey of the available Lands in its immediate vicinity, another force were employed in surveying and dividing into sections the extensive tracts of valuable agricultural country, which exist in the valley of the Thames and in that of the Waikato. The Survey of Town Allotments and country sections proceeding thus simultaneously, the newly arrived emigrant would merely have to inspect the plans at my office, make his selection, and in a few weeks from his arrival, he might be settled on his land and turning his capital to immediate advantage.

I am aware that His Excellency has written urgently to Sydney for a reinforcement to the Survey force, but I am doubtful if any, or at least any efficient officers, will present themselves from that quarter, and I beg respectfully to urge on His Excellency the necessity for sending to England, where if an adequate inducement be held out, the neces-

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sary assistance will no doubt be readily procured."

The Surveyor-General had seized upon one of the essential conditions of successful colonisation--secure and speedy possession of suitable land, the provision of which required that, at the outset, the Survey Department should be at full strength. Instead, he was left to wrestle with his problem almost single-handed, for his assistant, Mr. Galloway, was of little use in the field owing to his ill-health, and for the rest Mathew was only allowed to hire, temporarily, the services of Mr. Halls, a surveyor, and employ a limited amount of native labour for clearing the fern.

On September 11th, Hobson issued a series of Instructions to the various officers who were to be in charge of operations at the Waitemata. 7

Captain W. C. Symonds, as Chief Magistrate, was ordered "to proceed forthwith to the District of the Thames in the Anna Watson... and take up residence at the Township about to be formed on the Waitemata." He was to make monthly returns reporting on the state of the District, and inter alia make proper provision for the erection of a temporary Gaol, subject to the warning however, that in view of the limited population at present there, "it will not be advisable to incur any great expense." In a separate document, Symonds received the following orders: --

"You are hereby directed to take possession of Autea in the name of Her Most Gracious Majesty and hoist the British Flag thereon, the same having been presented to Her Majesty by the Native Chiefs who owned it. Should any

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difficulties arise relative to the occupation of the Land about to be formed into the Township on the Thames, you will use your utmost exertions to remove all obstructions and treat with the the Natives for the purpose of satisfying them.

Dated at Russell this 11th Day of Sep., 1840.

Felton Mathew, Surveyor General, was to select the most eligible spot for landing the stores, choose a site for the erection of the frame houses sent down for the accommodation of the Government officers, and select a site for the construction of the Government House. "No preparations must however be commenced without my concurrence in the choice of the site having been first expressed."

William Mason, Superintendent of Works, was to ascertain the best places for felling timber, forming a brick-yard, lime-burning, and collecting sand; he was to erect the Government buildings on the sites determined by the Surveyor-General; and was informed that labourers would be allowed provisionally to occupy a quarter of an acre each at a rent of £4 per year.

David Rough, Harbour-master, George Smith, clerk in charge of stores, Edward M. Williams, Clerk of the Bench, Postmaster and Interpreter, and Dr. J. Johnson, Health Officer, all received instructions appropriate to their particular departments.

Two sets of General Instructions issued on the same day provided that Captain Symonds, in addition to being in charge of the political and legal side of the business, should act as referee in matters affecting two or more Departments. This

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was, in effect, to make Symonds the head of the expedition, and it gave immediate umbrage to the older officers. Mathew wrote (Sep. 13):--

"I have to observe that Captain Symonds being my junior officer, I decline recognising that gentleman as an Official Referee, or acknowledging him, directly or indirectly, in any other capacity than as Police Magistrate. As these General Instructions imply an utter want of confidence in the judgement and discretion of the other officers of the expedition, I do not think proper to place myself in a position which is calculated to degrade my office in the eyes of others, and I have therefore to request that immediate steps may be taken for relieving me from my duties, as it is my intention to return to Sydney immediately." 8

Dr. Johnson also tendered his resignation in similar terms. Explanations followed, and the resignations were withdrawn, but the position remained uneasy. Under these circumstances, on September 13th, the barque Anna Watson (captain Thomas Stewart) sailed from the Bay of Islands for the Waitemata, having on board seven Government Officers, Mrs. Mathew and a few other cabin passengers, and, in steerage, 32 mechanics with their wives and children--15 women and 28 children, of whom 19 were under 10 years of age. This little band--the founders of Auckland--seems sufficiently interesting to be put on record. The passenger list is therefore given, as far as it has been possible to reconstruct it:--

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Capt. W. C. Symonds, Police Magistrate.
Felton Mathew, Surveyor-General.
William Mason, Superintendent of Works.
David Rough, Harbour-master.
Edward Marsh Williams, Interpreter, etc.
Dr. John Johnson, Colonial Surgeon and Health Officer.
Mrs. Felton Mathew.
Hon. Mr. Talbot, "a traveller."
Mr. Chaplain, described as "a curiosity hunter."
Captain Thomas Bateman, "a sort of supernumerary";
and two others, described as "nondescripts. certainly not gentlemen."


Beck, Peter, boatman.
Burns, John, boatman.
Carloss, Michael, boatman.
Carney (or Kearney), Thomas, blacksmith.
Collins, David, carpenter, with his wife and 3 children,
Condon, Richard, carpenter.
Dalombie, Manuel, boatman.
Dew, John, carpenter, with his wife.
Gamble, James, labourer.
Hamilton, Francis, labourer, with his wife and 1 child.
Harkin, William, labourer, with his wife and 5 children.
Harris, Alexander, sawyer.
Hill, Charles, blacksmith, with his wife and 4 children.
Kendall, William, groom, and his wife.

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McGee, James, labourer and his wife.
McNaughton, Donald, mason, with his wife and 4 children.
McQuoid, John, labourer, with his wife and 1 child.
McRichie, James, boatman.
Mills, Samuel, carpenter, with his wife and 2 children.
Motion, William, carpenter.
O'Neill, Charles, carpenter.
Rayner, Henry, bricklayer, with his wife and 1 child.
Raynor, Henry, boatman.
Robertson, John, sawyer, with his wife and 3 children.
Sharkey, Patrick, mason, with his wife and 1 child.
Smith, Isaac, brickmaker.
Swanson, John, carpenter, with his wife and 1 child.
Wright, Thomas, carpenter, with his wife and 4 children.

The narrative which follows, taken from Mrs. Mathew's Journal, tells the story of what these people accomplished in the next two or three months. --Ed. ]

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September 11th [1840], Friday. --Embarked on board the barque Anna Watson expecting to sail during the night, the weather very squally and unpleasant with frequent showers. Our expedition is a great and important one and it is much to be regretted that, from the injudicious measures of our Governor, the various members of it are not so harmonious as could be wished. There are people who are so unfortunately injudicious as to contrive to damp the ardor and neutralise the exertions of their most efficient officers at the moment when the utmost exertion and the greatest enthusiasm would seem to be required. I am the only lady 9 and my position is not an enviable one; it is true I have the comfort of my husband's company and a precious privilege it is to be his companion everywhere; but I suffer so much on board ship, and my health is so indifferent that I set out on this voyage with a very heavy heart.

Saturday, 12th. --I must say something of our party today as we are still at anchor off "Kororarika," the weather still very wet and squally. Captain Symonds is considered in some light as the head of the expedition much to the disgust of the older and superior officers; he holds

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nominally the rank of Police Magistrate: he is a fine gentlemanly young man, who but for the mistrust and jealousy thrown around him by his equivocal position, would be an agreeable companion, barring his attachment to cigars. Next comes the honourable Mr. Talbot, who has passed the last eight or nine years in travelling through various parts of the Australian continent and is now pursuing his researches through these Islands: he seems to have been so long the companion and associate of savages that he has no taste apparently for any other society, at least so far as I can yet judge; he smokes incessantly either a cigar or a black pipe, the latter seems preferred; he is of aristocratic presence too, notwithstanding the disfigurement of huge red whiskers meeting under the chin, and the ordinary embellishment of a "bonnet rouge" as head gear. A certain Mr. Chaplain is his cabin companion, a little lively fellow, who seems a curiosity hunter, nothing more. Two more nondescripts, certainly not gentlemen, I may mention next. Then there is Captain Bateman who seems to be a sort of supercargo of the vessel, and now I come to our own party, as I call the immediate officers of Government: Captain Rough, harbour-master, Dr. Johnson, Mr. Mason, and Mr. Mathew, though last not least; and also last not least our John Bull Skipper, Captain Stewart, a little round fat oily man, very good natured, but not I think overwise.

Sunday, 13th. --A fine morning and now all bustle, the anchor raised, and all ready for a fair start as soon as a breeze comes: about 9 a.m. the gun was fired and sails loosened; at 1/2 past 10 a.m. the last boat left the ship and we slowly stretched forth on our way, the wind very baffling and light. Towards noon the wind freshened considerably and though not a fair wind, yet we managed to beat out....

Tuesday, 15th.... About noon we dropped anchor

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Mathew's Plan of the City of Auckland, 1840.

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about a mile below the Sentinel [Waitemata Harbour]. Near us lay the Platina from Port Nicholson, 10 and soon after anchoring her captain came on board. I was much interested in his account of that new settlement so at variance with Col. Wakefield's praises of it, he of course being an interested party. The Platina has brought several people from Port Nicholson who have resolved to settle here, being disgusted with that place; the climate seems much more inclement than in this part of the Island, there is now much snow on the hills around it and the rain and cold winds are almost incessant. Could I feel the interest I once did in the settlement and colonisation of this country, I should rejoice that these circumstances were likely to bring to our community the honest industry of the very superior class of labouring emigrants who have been deluded by the Port Nicholson Company into sitting down there; as soon as this new field for their labour and capital is open, there is little doubt but they will flock hither.

Wednesday, 16th. --This morning the important decision was made, for the precise spot where the port of the Capital must be: 11 and the vessel was worked up to the place, or rather as near to it as convenient for the landing of the horses. The weather is squally and very frequent showers, but the sunshine at intervals makes the shores look green and pleasant and almost inviting. Mr. Mathew and Dr. Johnson went on shore early, the former to examine the land capabilities, the latter to geologise. They returned after a very long and fatiguing but also interesting walk, having reached the summit of a high hill commanding an extensive view of the country in every direction. Mr. Mason brought down a Spar for the Flag-Staff.

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Thursday, 17th. --The weather still cold squally and most disagreeable. At intervals I managed to walk a little on deck, but the high cutting winds made it very unpleasant. I do not find my position here very pleasant; the Captain is too good-natured, he suffers so much disorder and discomfort to prevail without any effort to remedy it that I am much disappointed. The ship though such a fine sailing vessel and so admirably arranged as to comfort, is rendered by neglect and dirt a most uncomfortable abode. I am anxiously looking for the arrival of the Cutter which will I hope bring us such decisive intelligence as to enable us to arrange our future movements and resolve whether we land here or proceed southwards in the vessel. The spot for the erection of the Flag-Staff is selected 12 and tomorrow at noon the British Flag is to be displayed and saluted with due honours.

September 18th, Friday. --A beautiful morning seemed to smile on the auspicious circumstance of taking formal possession of a certain portion of the land: and accordingly preparations were made for the important ceremony, and about half past twelve the whole party landed and proceeded to the height where the Flag staff was raised ready to receive the Royal Standard, which was carried by the Harbour Master. The Police Magistrate, attended by the Clerk and Interpreter, then read a short preamble setting forth that a certain portion of land was to be given to the Government by certain chiefs, therein named, for a certain payment to be fixed hereafter, of which as earnest they were then and there to receive six sovereigns.

[The "Preamble" or preliminary Agreement

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referred to by Mrs. Mathew is as follows:-- 13

"Wai te Mata
Friday, 18th Sept., 1840

It is agreed this day on the part of "Te Kauwau," "Te Rewiti," and "Te Tinana" and others of the Ngatewhatua tribe to cede to Her Majesty's Government, temporally [sic], until its Purchase may be effected by the proper Crown Officer, that Portion of Land which is contained within the following Boundaries, Viz.:

On the North, the Astuary [sic] of the Wai te Mata

On the South, a line drawn through Maunga Wau midway between the Waters of Manukau and the Wai te Mata

On the East, the River called Mate-hare-hare

On the West by the River called Opou. In consideration whereof the aforesaid Chiefs have received six pounds sterling, in earnest, to be deducted from the Price of the lands hereafter to be determined, and in Witness have attached their Names.

Signed before us this 18th September, 1840.

Wm. C Symonds, Police Magte.
John Johnson, M. D., Colonial Surgeon.
Felton Mathew, Survr. Genl.
David Rough, Harb. Master.

Ko te Reweti
Te Kawau X His Mark
Te Tinana X His Mark
Horo X His Mark"

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At this stage of the business, the principal chief stepped forward and in a long vehement harangue seemed to be making very strong objections to admitting the Pakehas at all among them; though on the previous day it had all been arranged to his satisfaction. He said that a Pakeha who had resided long among them told him that the Queen of England would take all their land from them, and that they should then have none to live on. In reply he was told through the interpreter that this was false and that he should not believe what was said by bad white men who were only deceiving him for their own purposes; but that the Governor was come to see that neither Pakeha nor Mauris were wronged and that all he or his Officers promised them should be strictly performed. After some further discussion about the boundaries, it was at length decided, and the three principal chiefs signed the agreement or "puka-puka," as they call all writings, which was also signed by the Police Magistrate and one or two other Government officers. Then the Flag was run up, and the whole assembly gave three cheers, the ship's colours were also instantly hoisted and a Salute of 21 guns fired. Her Majesty's health was then most rapturously drunk with cheers long and loud repeated from the ships; to the very evident delight of the Natives of whom nearly 100 had assembled round us. A few of the Rangatiras or chiefs were given wine to drink the Queen's health, and afterwards the Governor's was proposed and saluted with 7 guns. As it was wished to make this somewhat of a holiday the gentlemen got up a boat race among themselves, another for the sailors, and a canoe race for the natives, which all came off with great eclat. The amateurs pulled the Surveyor-General's gig against the Captain's gig; the sailors contested their whale boat against that of the harbour master, for a purse of 5£; the Natives were each given half a pound of Tobacco, with which they seemed much delighted; and this closed the day's

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festivity. There was no rain though it threatened frequently: the first day without showers at least, which we have had for some time, a good omen I hope for the prosperity of the new city which is to rise on this spot. On the Flag staff was cut the name, Auckland, with the date of the day and year. This was the first visit I have paid to these shores, and I think the situation chosen is in every respect most eligible. There is a large extent of level ground, and for the present occupation of the Government officers a very pretty sheltered valley, close to the promontory on which stands the Flag staff, has been selected; if we remain I begin to flatter myself I may have again ere very long, something like a comfortable dwelling and a nice garden. In the evening Captain Rough gave us a few songs to the accompaniment of his guitar, but he had shouted himself somewhat hoarse, in honour of her Majesty in the morning.

Thursday, October 3rd. --I have nothing worth noting in my journal from day to day: still the same monotonous dreariness prevails; the weather is however improving, and on shore in our little valley, where I spend the greater part of the day, the warmth is delightful. I have been enclosing a small plot of ground for my bulbs which are all shooting and should be planted. I had just returned to the ship when I observed great confusion in the Bay, where the Government Store for the reception of the Public property has been erected and where the greater part of the Government House and furniture has already been landed. Large columns of smoke obscured the shore, and I could make out nothing till the return of the party to the ship in the evening when I found that the fires on the hills to clear away the Fern and Scrub for the Survey had, from the change of wind, taken the direction towards the bay, and rushed down the little valley with such rapidity, that no efforts could arrest its progress, and it was with the

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greatest difficulty that the Store with its valuable contents was saved. Considerable property was destroyed, principally that of a Mr. Terry, 14 a settler recently arrived from Port Nicholson, and whose greatest loss was that of a newly-invented Machine for dressing the New Zealand flax, and a large and valuable collection of Trees and Shrubs. I particularly regret the latter, though I shall suffer much inconvenience from the loss of the large case containing my stock of ironmongery and the whole of my culinary apparatus. My dining tables have escaped with a slight scorching and the splitting of one of the leaves. I am thankful that no lives have been lost, and the damage sustained no greater.

Monday, 5th October. --Having landed everything and set up our tents, we took leave of the Anna Watson without regret, for a more dirty ill conditioned vessel I never had the misfortune to be in. Our whole property is piled up beside our tent and covered from the weather by a Tarpaulin. Our tent is sheltered by a coppice and open only towards the sea, and is really very comfortable considering. At a little distance is the tent of Dr. Johnson on the same side, and a little farther towards the point, that of Captain Rough. There is a beautiful stream running through the centre of the little amphitheatre or valley, and the landscape is really a gem; the buildings in progress of erection for Public Offices towards the head of the glen forming the back of the picture. There is a Maori path winding through the copse up the hill to the Flag staff, and thus far is our usual evening walk, the whole country is covered with Fern that it is difficult to move in any other direction. The only mode of clearing it is by burning, and then to walk over the blackened ground is destructive to dress.

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Saturday, 17th October. --Today arrived the Favorite with His Excellency the Governor on board, but the weather being showery he did not land. The Frigate looked beautiful at anchor off the Flag Staff Point and with H. M. Brig Britomart, which has been here some days, and a few small craft the Harbour looked quite respectable.

Sunday, 18th. --We have the Church Service in our Tent, and all who choose attend. The Governor landed in the afternoon and walked about a little. He seems pleased with the place and quite satisfied with what has been done.

Monday, 26th October. --His Excellency has this morning gone over to Manukao, and the Favorite and Britomart have taken their departure to Sydney and Hobart Town. The Governor has made our Tent his home, his Office and everything else; only sleeping on board the Favorite: he will now sleep on the Ranger, Cutter, and in a few days return in her to Russell. I shall be quite lonely again, after such a concourse of visitors. We spent a day on board the Favorite, and dined also on board the Britomart, but the weather was very showery and squally, all the time the ships were here, they must carry away an unfavorable impression of the place I fear.

Wednesday, October 28th. --The Governor returned yesterday from Manukao, and seemed much fatigued. He remained with us till after dinner today, and has just sailed in the Ranger on his return to Russell. He has at length decided on the situation for his house, which is to be erected with all speed. He intends to bring his family down and occupy a part of it by the beginning of the New Year. I doubt the possibility of any part of it being ready so soon. 15

[Mrs. Mathew's Journal ends at this point, except for the incomplete entry for February, 1844. The story of the founding of Auckland is,

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however, carried a little further forward by Felton Mathew's Letter-Book, containing his reports to the Lt. Governor of the progress of the survey.

As Mrs. Mathew has recorded above, the Surveyor-General, immediately upon the arrival of the Anna Watson at the Waitemata, had selected sites for the construction of the Government Store (Commercial, or "Store" Bay), the residences of the officers (Official, or "Exclusion" Bay) and of the mechanics (Mechanics Bay), and Government House; and the work of building proceeded rapidly under the direction of William Mason, the Colonial Architect.

By November 14th, 1840, Mathew had surveyed the whole of the land comprehended by the Deed of Purchase of October, 1840, and submitted his plan of the Town of Auckland for approval. The eccentricity--or perhaps one should say the concentricity--of his design has given rise to much unfavourable criticism. Dr. S. Martin, writing in 1841, professed himself appalled at the strange and unaccountable blunder of laying out a town where "there is not a single square house in the whole settlement," and every street was made to slant and curve in a series of "quadrants, circuses, crescents,... circles or cobwebs"; he charges the Surveyor-General with refusing to pay the slightest attention to the lay of the land; and ridicules his idea of reclaiming the mudflats--"Mr. Mathew, like King Canute, is capable of entertaining strange ideas." 16 Since it has become almost customary for commentators since Martin to wax facetious at the expense of Mathew's "spider-

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web" plan, it is only fair that he should be allowed to explain his own ideas on the subject:--

"With reference to the Plan of the Town, I have to observe, that in the disposition of the Streets &c, I have consulted the peculiar character and formation of the ground, a practice which I conceive to be indispensable in the arrangement of New Towns, as a means not only of promoting the immediate convenience of the early inhabitants, but of avoiding also the enormous expense entailed on the community, by the necessity which subsequently arises for cutting down hills and filling up hollows, where the streets are laid out in parallel lines, and at right angles, without any reference to the form of the ground. Guided by this principle, I have in several instances, adopted the Crescent form, as one to which the ground is peculiarly adapted: indeed it could not be made available in any other shape--and its fine commanding position, with a splendid view of the River and Harbour will give it a peculiar value as a most desireable spot for private residences; while the lower part of the Town will be the most suitable for shops and the general purposes of business.

"The portion of the Bay immediately in front of the Town, included between the two Points named (with his Excellency's approval) Point Stanley and Point Britomart, is dry at low water, and a ledge of Rocks extends from either point, which will be found to facilitate the erection of a Pier or Jetty which may be carried out to such a distance as to admit ships of large burthen to lie alongside for the purpose of discharging cargo. The formation of a Quay from Point to Point will be a means of recovering a large extent of very valuable land, the sale of which will far more than counterbalance the expense of executing these works; which are, in fact, in themselves, extremely simple, and requiring merely a moderate command of labour. In the present early stage of the Colony, and with the paucity

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of labour from which it is now suffering, I am aware that such works would be both impolitic and impracticable--but looking to this place as the Port, and the medium of communication with all parts of the Interior of this Northern Island, I anticipate that at a very early period, the Government will find it desireable to carry these improvements into effect, and with this view, I have shewn them on my Plan. I should observe that the space between the Quay and the Jetty will afford a secure and commodious harbour for small vessels and boats, and a means also of their discharging or taking in Cargo, without interfering with the larger vessels tying outside."

Right or wrong, the Plan was approved by Hobson, and it has determined the shape of a good deal of the present City of Auckland--including the reclaimed dock area which now provides some of the best harbour facilities in the Dominion. The next step, the marking off of the allotments and the preparation of the descriptions for the first sale, was unavoidably held up by the inadequacy of the Survey staff. Mathew had to do the work unaided by so much as a clerk or a draughtsman. After one postponement from March 8th, the first sale took place on April 19th, 1841. Even then, only 119 small allotments, comprising about 44 acres, were offered for sale, and highly extravagant prices prevailed. The auction brought in over £21,000, the average price being about £555 per acre. Mathew, who had selected his lots in advance, found himself due to pay £582 for three bits of land aggregating less than an acre. A second official sale, of country and suburban lands, on September 1st, realised some £4,500 for about 600 acres. Hobson was disposed to jubilate over the revenue thus accruing, and based his estimates

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on the expectation of a large annual income to the Land Fund. The shrewd comments of James Stephen, Permanent Colonial Under-Secretary, showed greater experience and foresight:-- "(17th January, 1842) ... I confess that I cannot partake of the pleasure which the Governor feels in the high prices obtained for these Town Allotments. It is surely quite preposterous that Land should fetch as high a price at Auckland as in the immediate vicinity of London or Liverpool. This must be one of the bubbles which burst as surely as they are blown." 17 --Ed.]

1   Cit. Scholefield, "Hobson," p. 149.
2   Rough, "Early Days of Auckland" (1896).
3   Rough, op. cit.; and Facsimile of Treaty.
4   Supra, p. 174.
5   Internal Affairs Dept. Records, 1840, vol. 3.
6   Internal Affairs Dept. Records, 1840, folio 431.
7   Internal Affairs Dept. Records, Hobson's Letter-Book.
8   Internal Affairs Dept. Records, 1840, folio 477.
9   The mechanics' wives, of course, did not count.
10   The Platina had arrived at the Waitemata three days before the Anna Watson.
11   This was the fore-shore immediately west of Point Britomart, at the foot of present Queen Street.
12   On the heights of Point Britomart. Another flag-staff was shortly afterwards erected on Motu-Korehu, or Brown's Island, J. Logan Campbell and his partner William Brown, who had settled there early in 1840, being allowed to remain on sufferance till their claims were adjudicated.
13   Internal Affairs Dept. Records, 1840, vol. 3, folio 494. The Deed confirming this Agreement is printed in Barr, "City of Auckland," p. 40.
14   Charles Terry, F.R.S., F.S.A., who wrote "New Zealand: Its Advantages and Prospects" (1842).
15   The Governor took official possession of Government House, Auckland, on March 13th, 1841.
16   Cit. Sherrin & Wallace, "Early History," p. 554-5.
17   CO. 209/9.

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