Government Domain Reserve.
This reserve, surrounded by Lambton Quay, Charlotte Street (now Molesworth Street), Kumutoto Street (now Bowen Street), Sydney Street (that portion now closed) and Section 505 (now Museum Street), was set apart by the New Zealand Company (Gov. Gaz., 26/10/41) and recorded on plan of the City of Wellington, August, 1842, signed by the Surveyor-General, Felton Mathew. The
area, 5.137 was reduced by three-quarters of an acre by the Government surveyor.
Some reserves, viz. (L.L.) cemeteries, 18 acres; (M.) Episcopalian Church, 1 acre 4 perches; and (E.E.) Public Offices, were marked on the plan.
Bishop Selwyn looked at reserve M, and considered it inconvenient for a church site; it was appropriated to the Protestant clergyman, and a site for the Episcopalian Church was selected in the cemetery and approved by the Bishop. On the Bishop's second visit to Wellington, although the preparations for the building were considerably advanced, he objected to this site, and the trustees of the Wellington Archdeaconry Fund were instructed to apply for a portion of the Government Domain for one. As, however, Governor Fitzroy, after inspecting the site chosen in the cemetery, had fully approved of it, the subscribers respectfully remonstrated against it being changed. They considered the Government Domain unsuitable for a church, and they especially objected to changing the object for which it had been reserved, because purchasers had selected the land in the neighbourhood upon the faith of that arrange-
[From “Evening Post.”
Col. Wakefield's, house about 1850.
[From a photo by Mrs. S. O'Loughan, Otaki.
[From Cyclopaedia; photo by W. Dumbell.
Fig. 248.—Various stages of old Government House.
. Notwithstanding this remonstrance, however, the Government surveyor marked off three-quarters of an acre of the Domain for the site of the church and parsonage, and a portion of it was fenced in for the immediate reception of a temporary church building. It was generally believed that further encroachments on the Government Domain for an Episcopal school were in contemplation. The New Zealand “Spectator,” commenting on the subject, states: “Our readers are aware that, as yet, not a single settler has got a grant of land considered valid by the Government, and yet the Government seizes on a reserve made for a distinct specific and public object and devotes it to a different and a private one—so much for the policy pursued by our local Government.”
Memorial to the Government.
A public meeting was held at the Aglionby Arms (River Hutt) on the 19th September, 1844, for the object of discussing the present state of the district as regards the seizure of the settlers lands by the natives, and of drawing up a memorial to the Government upon the subject. The large room of Mr. BurchaMcs was full, and many were obliged to remain outside. Mr. W. Swainson, F.R.S., of Hawkeshead, was in the chair. The main points of issue were: “That the chief agricultural population of this colony is concentrated in the valley of the Hutt, wherein is contained, by a recent census, between 650 and 700 British settlers —nearly the whole of whom are engaged in agriculture.” (Items 1 to 12, “N.Z. Journal,” 1/2/1845.)