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Early Wellington

Civic Affairs

Civic Affairs.

These items are extracted from the City of Wellington Year Book 1927/8 by courtesy of His Worship the Mayor. Mr. G. A. Troup and the City Councillors.

CITY ARMS. Description of the City Arms.

Quarterly 1st Azure out of a ducal Crown or a demi-lion rampant gules holding in the paws a forked pennon flowing to the sinister, charged with the cross of St. George the ends Gules (crest of the Duke of Wellington.)

2nd Argent—A galley with sails furled and oars and pennons sable (the commerce of the City).

3rd Gules—A garb (a wheat or wheat sheaf) proper (the agricultural interests).

4th Azure—A golden fleece proper cintured gules (the pastoral interests).
Fig. 240—The City Arms.

Fig. 240—The City Arms.

Crest Mural Crown or surmounted by a dolphin embowed azure (supremacy by naval position.)

Mantle, Azure and Gules. Supporters. Dexter. The British Lion. Sinister a Moa but proper. Motto “Suprema a Situ” (supreme by position). Under the motto “1840” (date of the foundation of the City and Colony.

Brevities Concerning the City of Wellington.

It is the Seat of Government.

It was the First Borough in New Zealand.

page 396

Situated on the shores of Cook Strait, between North and South Islands, it is the great commercial distributing centre of the Dominion.

It has the most equable climate of any City in New Zealand. Highest recorded temperature in shade 88 deg. F.; lowest recorded temperature in shade 29.2 deg. F.; approximate mean yearly temperature in shade 55 deg. F.; and mean annual rainfall 49.09 inches.

The scenery surrounding the City is most picturesque, embracing views of snow-clad Tararuas in the North and frequently of white-peaked Kaikouras in the South Island.

It established the first Municipally controlled Zoo in Australasia.

It has the longest (28 miles) seashore roadway in Australasia.

It is one of the best drained cities in Australasia; and has a most comprehensive water scheme, having four large reservoirs and eleven service reservoirs.

Its main Streets are wood paved; continuous length 3 1/2 miles.

It was the first City in New Zealand to install electricity for street lighting and for general household lighting and heating, and probably has a larger number of private residences supplied with electric light and heat than any other City in Australasia of the same number of population.

It was the first municipality in Australasia to adopt superannuation for its employees.

It has established the First Municipally controlled Milk Supply undertaking in the World, combining therewith Ice Making and Cool Storage.

It has the best wharf accommodation in Australasia.

It has a well equipped Municipal Electrical Tram Service.

It established the first Crematorium in New Zealand.

It is the terminal point of the East and West Coast Railway lines.

It has the largest Government Printing Establishment south of the Line.

It is the only City in New Zealand owning a seaside resort (Day's Bay) for its citizens, outside its own boundaries.

Values, Etc., of Greater Wellington, at 31st March, 1927.

Capital Value …. …. £33.862,980
Unimproved Value …. £14,898,300
Value of Improvements …. £18,964,680
Area …. …. …. …. 15,951 acres
Area of Reserves …. …. 1,613 acres
Number of Buildings in City 26,037
Population …. …. …. 101,180
Length of Streets …. …. 244 ¼ miles
Number of Electors on Municipal Roll (election 1927) …. …. …. 42,903
Area of Greater Wellington 24 ½ sq. miles

Situation, Early History, Population, Etc.

Wellington is the capital City of the Dominion, and the seat of Government. It is situated on the Southern shore of Port Nicholson, and its southern limits are washed by the waters of Cook Strait. Including the whole metropolitan area the population numbers 126,310.

For about 16 months (1841–2) Wellington was a Borough, the first in New Zealand; it was then altered to a Town Board, which was finally abolished in 1870, and the City reconstituted a Borough with three wards—Thorndon, Lambton and Te Aro. In 1877, Te Aro was divided into two wards—the fourth being named Cook. The four wards were page 397
Fig. 241.—In 1844–5, money became so scarce that it was found necessary by the Government to resort to the issue of Debentures, and these printed pieces of paper were accepted by the settlers as currency until after the arrival of Captain Grey as Governor. Specimens of some of these are in the possession of Sir F. R. Chapman. Blocks for shilling and sixpence respectively were made by Mr. J. H. Marriott. The latter were shaped like a fish.

Fig. 241.—In 1844–5, money became so scarce that it was found necessary by the Government to resort to the issue of Debentures, and these printed pieces of paper were accepted by the settlers as currency until after the arrival of Captain Grey as Governor. Specimens of some of these are in the possession of Sir F. R. Chapman. Blocks for shilling and sixpence respectively were made by Mr. J. H. Marriott. The latter were shaped like a fish.

page 398 retained until the 29th March. 1901, when they were abolished, and the City became one undivided Borough.

Description of the Mayoral Chain.

The Mayoral Chain and pendant was presented to the City by Mrs. S. A. Rhodes in 1901, the makers being Messrs. Elkington, London. Links were donated to commemorate the term of office of the following gentlemen as Mayors of the City:—

The Central medallion is in the form of the City's Coat of Arms, worked in enamel with the addition of a sword and mace, the whole ornamented with jewels.

On the amalgamation of the Borough of Melrose with the City the Mayoral Chain of the Melrose Borough was formed into an additional pendant.

The links of the chain are in locket form, the foundation being of gold with a centre of blue enamel encircled in an oval of pearls. The initials and year of office of each of the Mayors who contributed links being engraved in the centre.

Mayors of the City of Wellington. List of Mayors, 1842–1927.

  • George Hunter—1842.

  • William Guyton—1843.

  • During the period 1843 to 1870, Wellington was a Town Board.

  • Joseph Dransfield—1870 to 1873.

  • C. B. Borlase—1874.

  • William Serfton Moorhouse—1875.

  • William Hutchison—1876 to 1877.

  • Joseph Dransfield—1878 to 9th May, 1879.

  • George Allen—9th to 29th May, 1879.

  • William Hutchison—remainder of year 1879.

  • William Hutchison—1880 to 1881.

  • George Fisher—1882 to 1885.

  • Arthur Winton Brown—1886.

  • Samuel Brown—1887 to 1888.

  • John Duthie—1889.

  • Charles John Johnston—1890.

    Fig. 242.—George Hunter, Esq., first Mayor of Wellington.

    Fig. 242.—George Hunter, Esq., first Mayor of Wellington.

  • Arthur Winton Brown—1891.

  • Francis Henry Dillon Bell—1892 to 1893.

  • Alfred de Bathe Brandon—1894.

  • Charles Manley Luke—1895.

  • George Fisher—1896.

  • Francis Henry Dillon Bell—1897.

  • John Rutherford Blair—1898 to 1899.

  • John Guthrie Wood Aitken—1900 to 1904.

  • Hon. Thomas Wm. Hislop—1905 to 1908.

  • Alfred Kingcombe Newman, M.D—1909.

  • Thomas Mason Wilford, M.P.—1910 to 1911. Councillor John Smith was Acting-Mayor for six months during Mr. Wilford's absence on sick leave in 1911.

  • David McLaren—1912.

  • John Pearce Luke—1913 to 1921, C.M.G. (1917), elected M.P. (1918), Knighted (1921).

  • Robert Alexander Wright, Hon., M.P.—1921 to 1925.

  • Charles John Boyd Norwood—1925 to 1927.

  • George Alexander Troup, 1927–1929.

Past and Present Councillors. List of Councillors, 1842–1927.

  • Allan, J. A.—March 1877 to September 1878.

  • Allen, Geo.—Sept. 1876 to Sept. 1883, and from April 1887 to Sept. 1889.

  • Anderson, Geo.—Sept. 1889 to April 1901.

  • Appleton, W.—Late Onslow Borough, April only 1919.

  • Aston, J.—April, 1923.

  • Atkinson, A. R.—April 1909 to April 1921.

  • Ballinger, Thos.—April 1905 to April 1911.

  • Bannatyne, W. M.—Sept. 1871 to May 1873 (resigned).

  • Barber, W. H. P.—Sept. 1891 to April 1905, and 8th Sept. 1910 to April 1919.

  • Barnett, E. J.—(from Miramar) February 1921 to April 1921.

    page 399
  • Bennett, H. D.—April 1921.

  • Bennett, W. H.—April 1915.

  • Benzoni, C. T.—Sept. 1885 to April 1887 (resigned).

  • Biss, A. S.—April 1905 to April 1909.

  • Borlase, C. B.—Sept. 1870 to Dec. 1874 (resigned).

  • Brandon, A. de B.—Sept. 1886 to Jan. 1891 (resigned).

  • Brown, A. W.—Sept. 1881 to Dec. 1885 (elected Mayor), also Sept. 1888 to Dec. 1890 (elected Mayor).

  • Brown, John—(late Melrose B.C.) April (only) 1903.

  • Brown, S.—Sept. 1879 to Sept. 1885.

  • Buckley, P.—July 1871 to Sept. 1873.

  • Buddle, H.—April 1913 to April 1915.

  • Burn, B. G. H.—April 1920.

  • Burns, J.—April 1920.

  • Burrett, R.—May 1873 to Feb. 1875 (resigned).

  • Bush, T.—April 1915 to April 1917.

  • Cameron, R. A., M.D.—April 1911 to April 1913.

  • Carmichael, Thos.—April 1905 to April 1911.

  • Carpenter, R. H.—Sept. 1870 to Sept. 1871.

  • Castle, J.—April 1917 to April 1919.

  • Caughley, J.—April 1927.

  • Chapman, C. H.—April 1919 to April 1925.

  • Chapman, M.—Sept. 1888 to Sept. 1890.

  • Cleland, J. M.—Feb. 1875 to Sept. 1877.

  • Clere, F. de J.—Dec. 1890 to Sept. 1891.

  • Cohen, F.—August 1904 to April 1913.

  • Coombe, John—Dec. 1885 to Sept. 1888.

  • Crawford, H. D.—(late Melrose B.C.) April (only) 1903.

  • Dale, J. M.—April 1919 to April 1923.

  • Danks, S.—Oct. 1879 to Sept. 1888.

  • Devine, J. J.—Dec. 1893 to Sept. 1899, April 1901 to April 1905, and elected again April 1909 to 16th August 1910 (died).

  • Diver, H. W. Dr.—Oct. 1877 to Sept. 1883.

  • Dixon, Edward—March 1877 to Sept. 1879.

  • Dransfield, J.—Sept. 1874 to March 1877 (resigned).

  • Edwards, J. C.—Sept. 1885 to Sept. 1888.

  • Evans, W. A. Rev.—Sept. 1900 to April 1905.

  • Fisher, F. M. B.—April 1907 to April 1909.

  • Fisher, Geo.—Sept. 1877 to July 1881 (resigned).

  • Fitzgerald, W.—Sept. 1883 to Sept. 1886.

  • Fitzgerald, J. E.—April 1909 to April 1919.

  • Fletcher, R.—April 1907 to April 1915.

  • Forsyth, T.—April 1919 to April 1925.

  • Fraser, F. H.—Sept. 1888 to Sept. 1900.

  • Fraser, Peter—April 1919 to April 1923.

  • Frost, G.—April 1903 to April 1907, again elected April 1909 to August 1920 (died).

  • Fulford, A. H.—(late Melrose B.C.) April (only) 1903.

  • Fuller, J., Junr.—April 1911 to April 1917.

    Fig. 243.—Group of Mayors of Wellington, 1892–1928. Names are, from left to right (sitting): Hon. R. A. Wright, M.P. (1921–1923), Hon. Sir F. H. Dillon Bell (1892–1893 and 1897), G. A. Troup, Esq. (present Mayor, 1929), and A. de Bathe Brandon, Esq. (1894). Standing: Sir John Luke, M.P. (1913–1920), Hon. T. M. Wilford (Minister for Justice) 1910–1911, D. McLaren, Esq. (1912), C. J. B. Norwood, Esq. (1923–1927), and C. M. Luke, Esq (1895).

    Fig. 243.—Group of Mayors of Wellington, 1892–1928. Names are, from left to right (sitting): Hon. R. A. Wright, M.P. (1921–1923), Hon. Sir F. H. Dillon Bell (1892–1893 and 1897), G. A. Troup, Esq. (present Mayor, 1929), and A. de Bathe Brandon, Esq. (1894). Standing: Sir John Luke, M.P. (1913–1920), Hon. T. M. Wilford (Minister for Justice) 1910–1911, D. McLaren, Esq. (1912), C. J. B. Norwood, Esq. (1923–1927), and C. M. Luke, Esq (1895).

    page 400
  • Gardner, J. C.—(late Onslow B.C.) April (only) 1919.

  • Gaudin, W. J.—September 1920 to April 1925, April 1927.

  • George, J. R.—Sept. 1874 to Sept. 1878.

  • Gibbs, A. E.—April 1905 to April 1906.

  • Gillon, E. T.—Jan. 1875 to Sept. 1876.

  • Glover, J.—April 1919 to 1921, July 1926 to April 1927.

  • Godber, J.—April 1901 to April 1909, and April 1911 to April 1919.

  • Greenfield, R.—Jan. 1874 to Sept. 1883.

  • Hales, W. H.—April 1907 to Sept. 1909.

  • Harcourt, J. B.—Oct. 1889 to Sept. 1899.

  • Harris, L. L.—Sept. 1888 to Sept. 1896 (resigned).

  • Heaton, J. H.—Sept. 1887 to Sept. 1889.

  • Heginbotham, J. A.—(late Melrose B.C.) April (only) 1903.

  • Henderson, J. W.—April 1920 to April 1921 from Karori.

  • Higginbottom, W.—Sept. 1895 to Sept. 1898.

  • Hildreth, W. T.—April 1915 to April 1919.

  • Hindmarsh, A. H.—April 1905 to April 1915.

  • Hislop, T. C. A.—April 1913 to April 1915, April 1927.

  • Huggins, H. A.—April 1925.

  • Hunter, Geo.—Sept. 1877 to Sept. 1879.

  • Hutcheson, J.—April 1915 to April 1917.

  • Hutchison, J.—April 1919 to April 1921.

  • Izard, C. H.—Sept. 1898 to April 1907.

  • Jacobson, J. A.—(late Melrose B.C.) April (only) 1903.

  • Jennings, F.—(late Melrose B.C.) April (only) 1903.

  • Jorgenson, A. G.—April 1903 to April 1905.

  • Keene, R.—April 1903 to April 1905.

  • Krull, F. A.—Sept. 1871 to Sept. 1874.

  • Levoi, R.—April 1894 to Sept. 1894.

  • Lindsay, A.—Sept. 1896 to Sept. 1898.

  • Lingard, W.—Sept. 1896 to Sept. 1899.

  • Logan, H. F.—Sept. 1877 to Sept. 1883.

  • Luckie, M. M. F.—April 1913.

  • Luke. J. P.—Sept. 1898 to April 1905, and 1st Sept. 1905 to April 1911. (Mayor: 1913–21).

  • McGill, W.—Sept. 1896 to April 1901.

  • McKeen, R.—April 1925.

  • McKenzie, T. W.—Sept. 1881 to Sept. 1887.

  • McKenzie, L. S.—April 1911 to April 1923.

  • McKirdy, C.—Sept. 1873 to Jan. 1875 (resigned).

  • McLaren, D.—April 1901 to April 1912. Mayor 1912–13.)

  • McVicar, Annie—(from Miramar B.C. February 1921) re-elected April 1921 to April 1925.

  • McVilley, R. W.—April 1927.

  • Macdonald, T. K.—Sept. 1877 to Sept. 1878.

  • Maginity, J.—Sept. 1877 to Sept. 1884.

  • Manton, F. W.—April 1925, April 1927.

  • Meadowcroft, F.—April 1923.

  • Miller, R.—Sept. 1878 to Sept. 1881, and Sept. 1882 to Sept. 1885.

  • Miller, W.—Sept. 1870 to Sept. 1872.

  • Mills, E. W.—Sept. 1870 to Oct. 1877 (resigned).

  • Mitchell, G.—April 1923 to April 1925. April 1927.

  • Moeller, F.—Sept. 1880 to Jan. 1892 (resigned).

  • Moeller, P.—Sept. 1876 to March 1877 (resigned).

  • Monteith, A. L.—April 1923, June 1926 (resigned).

  • Morpeth, C. D.—1928–9.

  • Morrah, W. H.—April 1905 to April 1911.

  • Moss, L.—Sept. 1870 to Oct. 1880 (resigned).

  • Muir, W. M.—Sept. 1888 to Sept. 1889.

  • Murdoch, M.—Sept. 1899 to April 1909.

  • Myers, J.—Sept. 1894 to Jan. 1899.

  • Nathan, D. J.—April 1901 to July 1904 (resigned).

  • Newman, A. K., M.D.—July 1881 to Sept. 1885. (Mayor: 1909–10.)

  • Nicol, Wm.—(late Melrose B.C.) April (only) 1903.

  • Norwood, C. J. B.—April 1917 to April 1923. (Mayor: 1925–27.)

  • Parsons, W. F.—Sept. 1890 to Sept. 1893.

  • Parton, Alex, Walter—July 1922 to April 1925.

  • Paul, James—Sept. 1872 to Jan. 1874 (resigned).

  • Penty, F.—Sept. 1892 to Sept. 1895.

  • Petherick, J.—Sept. 1883 to Sept. 1888, and Sept. 1889 to May 1895 (died).

  • Pharazyn, R.—June 1875 to Sept. 1876

  • Plimmer, John—Sept. 1870 to July 1871 (resigned)

  • Quick, W. H.—Sept. 1884 to Sept. 1887.

  • Quin, W.—Sept. 1870 to Sept. 1871.

  • Rainie, D.—Sept. 1870 to Sept. 1877.

  • Reid, J.—(late Melrose B.C.) April (only) 1903.

  • Richardson, J. M.—Sept. 1883 to Sept. 1888.

  • Seed, W.—Sept. 1888 to Oct. 1889 (resigned).

  • Semple, R.—April 1825.

  • Shirtcliffe, Geo.—April 1907 to April 1913.

  • Shorland, J. O.—April 1917 to April 1921.

  • Smith, John—Sept. 1885 to Sept. 1893, June 1895 to April 1905, and April 1906 to April 1913.

  • Stafford, E.—Sept. 1879 to Sept. 1882.

  • Stone, S. M.—(from Miramar B.C.) February to April 1921.

  • Tanner, C. W.—Sept. 1893 to Sept. 1896.

  • Tatum, C. T.—Aug. 1892 to Sept. 1892, and Sept. 1893 to Sept. 1896.

  • Thompson, J. S. M.—Sept. 1878 to Sept. 1884.

  • Thompson, W. J.—Sept. 1910 to April 1911, re-elected April 1913 to April 1927.

  • Tolhurst, R. M.—Feb. 1899 to April 1903.

  • Townsend, F.—Sept. 1899 to April 1901.

  • Tregear, Edward—April 1912 to April 1915.

  • Trevor, James—April 1905 to April 1907, again elected April 1909 to April 1913.

  • Troup, G. A.—April 1925 to April 1927. (Mayor 1927.)

  • Turnbull, T.—Jan. 1891 to April 1891.

  • Underwood, S. H.—April 1921 to June 1922 (died).

  • Veitch, A.—April 1915 to April 1919.

  • Vogel, H. B.—April 1891 to April 1894 (resigned).

  • White, H. J.—Jan. 1892 to Sept. 1893.

  • Willeston, C. E. W.—Sept. 1888 to April 1901.

  • Williams, H. J.—Sept. 1884 to Sept. 1889.

  • Wilson, A.—Sept. 1883 to Sept. 1886.

  • Wiltshire, Geo.—April 1903 to 10th Aug. 1905 (died).

  • Winder, Geo.—Sept. 1899 to April 1907.

    page 401
  • Worth, C. F.—Sept. 1889 to July 1892 (resigned) and Sept. 1893 to Dec. 1893 (resigned).

  • Wright, R. A.—April 1913 to April 1921. (Mayor 1921 to 1925.) Re-elected Councillor April 1925 to April 1927.

  • Young, A.—Sept. 1878 to Sept. 1881, and Sept. 1887 to Sept. 1888.

  • Young, J.—Sept. 1887 to Sept. 1888.

Fig. 243A.—Alderman William Lyon. Mr. Lyon “topped the poll” by scoring 237 votes at the first election of Aldermen for the Borough Wellington in 1842. (See pp. 108–110.)

Fig. 243A.—Alderman William Lyon. Mr. Lyon “topped the poll” by scoring 237 votes at the first election of Aldermen for the Borough Wellington in 1842. (See pp. 108110.)


George Alexander Troup, Esq. Address: Raroa Road, Kelburn. Was re-elected Mayor in 1929.

The election of Mayor takes place on the last Wednesday in April, and the Mayor takes office on the first Wednesday in May, for a period of two years. Any person qualified to be a Councillor is eligible for the office of Mayor. The Mayor is a Councillor by virtue of his office. The Mayor may resign his office by writing, delivered to the Town Clerk. In case of absence or illness on the part of a Mayor, a Deputy-Mayor may be appointed. The Mayor is a Justice of the Peace by virtue of his office.

Election of Councillors.

Any person whose name is on the District Electors' Roll is eligible for election as Mayor or Councillor. Councillors take office on the declaration of the Poll. If a Councillor be elected Mayor, his office as an elected Councillor becomes vacant. Councillors may resign their office by writing, delivered to the Mayor or Town Clerk.

See “Dominion,” 3/5/1929, for illustrations and names of Councillors elected in 1929 (15 in number).

Consular Representatives of Foreign Nations Resident in Wellington.

  • Argentine.—Humberto Bidone, Consul-General, Baldwin and Rayward, Lambton Quay, Wellington; E. S. Baldwin, Vice-Consul.

  • Belgium.—Armand Nihotte, Consul, Dominion Fanners' Building.

  • Brazil.—George Robertson, Acting Vice-Consul, Lambton Quay.

  • Chili.—Hubert L. Nathan, Hon. Consul, New Zealand Welfare League.

  • China.—Li Kwang Heng, Consul, Chinese Consulate, 10 Grass Street.

  • Czecho Slovakia.—Hon. Consul, E. J. Hymans, care E. J. Hymans, Ltd., 120 Wakefield Street, Wellington.

  • Denmark.—S. A. Longuet, Consul, care A. S. Paterson and Co., Ltd., Wellington.

  • France.—O. R. Bendall, Consular Agent, Royal Exchange Assurance Buildings, Wellington.

  • Germany.—W. Penseler, Hon. Consul, Huddard Parker Buildings, Wellington.

  • Greece.—J. F. Dyer, Vice-Consul, Levin and Co., Ltd.

  • Italy.—Michele Blunno, Consul, Leinster Chambers, Grey Street, Wellington.

  • Japan.—A. Young, Hon. Consul, care T. and W. Young, Customhouse Quay, Wellington.

  • Liberia.—Dr. Arnold W. Izard, Consul, Wellington.

  • Netherlands.—W. G. Johnston, Consul, Johnston and Co., Ltd.

  • Norway.—A. W. Newton, Consul, 62 Bowen Street, Wellington.

  • Portugal.—A. D. S. Duncan, Vice-Consul, Levin and Co., Ltd.

  • Paraguay.A. E. Kernot, Consul, A. E. Kernot and Co.

  • Spain.—Cheviot W. Dillon Bell, Hon. Vice-Consul, Bell, Gully, Mackenzie and O'Leary, Solicitors, Wellington.

  • Sweden.—J. T. Martin, Consul, P.O. Box 1520, Wellington.

  • U.S. of America.—Will L. Lowrie, Consul-General, Woodward Street, Wellington.

  • H.M. Trade Commissioner.—L. B. Beale, 11 Grey Street, Wellington.

page 402

City Observatory and Telescope.

The Wellington City Council recently purchased from the Seminary of St. Mary's, Meeanee, Napier, New Zealand, a 9in. Cooke Photovisual Equatorial Telescope, fitted with a Grubb driving clock, a 5in. Guiding Telescope and a 2 ½in. Finder.

The focal length is 12ft. 8in. The telescope is well equipped with a silver circle for right ascension and two for declination. One of the declination circles can be read by a telescope from the eye of the main telescope.

The instrument is provided with a large number of eyepieces, for stars and sun, micrometer eyepiece and a Higler solar spectroscope. A star camera for whole plates (8 ½in. × 6 ½in.), and a sun camera completes the equipment. With an enlarging lens, sun camera gives images of the sun about 5in. in diameter.

The City has erected a temporary observatory for the instrument a few chains to the west of the present Astronomical Section and the Government's Observatories at Kelburn. The structure is 18ft. × 36ft., divided into two 18ft. square rooms, the northern room containing the Telescope and the southern room being the waiting room. The temporary building is constructed of galvanised iron. The whole of the roof over the Telescope room has been made to slide off and on.

The Telescope has been placed in charge of the Dominion Astronomer, Dr. C. E. Adams, D.Sc., F.R.A.S., and is available for general use, a small charge being made.