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Early Wellington

First Newspaper

First Newspaper.

The “New Zealand Gazette,” second number, was published by Samuel Revans for the first time at Britannia (Pito-one) on the 18th April, 1840. Hereunder are some of the items.

Provisional Constitution.

“We, the undersigned, intending to inhabit the New Zealand Land Company's first and principal settlement, with the view to provide for the peace and order thereof, do hereby agree amongst ourselves and pledge our honour to submit ourselves to the following regulations and to enforce them, that is to say: That all the persons and parties to this agreement shall submit to be mustered and drilled.”… “Any offence committed shall be liable to be punished, and a committee shall decide any dispute.” Here follow the names of the Committee referred to on another page. Regulations, Ratification and extension of the above contract by the Sovereign Chiefs of Port Nicholson.

The officers of the New Zealand Company comprised the following:—Colonel Wm. Wakefield, principal agent; page 50 Captain W. Mein Smith, R.A., Surveyor General; W. Carrington, 1st Assistant Surveyor; Robert Stokes, R. Park, Assistant Surveyors; Captain E. M. Chaffers, Harbour Master; J. P. Fitzgerald, M.D., Consulting Physician to the Infirmary; John Dorset, Surgeon to the Infirmary; George Hunter, Storekeeper General; John Nelson Burcham, Assistant; Daniel Riddiford, Agent for Emigrants; R. Doddrey, Superintendent of Company's Works; Richard Barrett, Agent for Natives and Interpreter; James Heberley, Pilot; George S. Evans, D.C.L., Umpire; Samuel Revans, Secretary; Major Richard Baker, Magistrate; Henry Cole and James Smith, District Constables.

The first business places advertised were:—The New Zealand Company; J. Ward, Secretary, London, Union Bank of Australia, New Zealand Branch; H. Moreing and Taylor, General Agents; Surveyor General's Department (re claims against the Department); William Lyon; Willis and Co.; K. Bethune and George Hunter; J. Pierce; J. Telford; Robert Tod and Andrew Duncan; T. M. Partridge; Samuel McDonnell (last tent); Wallace, White and Wallace; and Fredk. Dunsford.

A person (in the “Wanteds”) was required to cut in metal or wood a plan of the Harbour of Port Nicholson, and to enquire at the “Gazette” office for particulars. In another column, a classified list appeared of immigrants brought out at the expense of the Colony in the “Cuba,” viz.:—

  • 2 Blacksmiths.

  • 2 Bricklayers.

  • 1 Butcher.

  • 1 Carpenter.

  • 1 Gamekeeper.

  • 3 Gardeners.

  • 4 Labourers.

  • 1 Miner.

  • 2 Sawyers.

  • 1 Seedsman.

  • 1 Servant.

  • 1 Timber Cutter.

  • 1 Wheelwright.

The number of artisans who arrived by the “Oriental,” “Duke of Roxburgh,” “Bengal Merchant” and “Adelaide” was also mentioned.

An advertisement announced the business of Henry Meech and Oxenham, shipwrights, on the left side of the river Hutt.

Amongst the advertisements from London firms were those of Edward Chance, hardware and general, and Manning's Portable Colonial Cottages.

The same number of the “Gazette” (No. 2) contains a report of the Committee of Colonists, at which the following resolutions were passed:—

“That one district constable do reside this end (Pito-one) and the other at Thorndon.”

“That Mr. A. Hort be elected to fill the vacancy caused on the Committee by the retirement of Captain Smith, and that Mr. R. D. Hanson be elected Vice-President.”

At the meeting of the Council (N.Z. Gaz., 25th April) Dr. Evans asked if some arrangement could be made for a public building to serve as a Police Court and Town Hall.

An announcement appeared in the N.Z. Gazette of Saturday, 16th May, 1840, to the effect that a Grand Fete and Public Ball was contemplated, and that a public meeting would be held at Thorndon to inspect the Surveyor General's plan and to determine on the future name to be given to the town. Voluntary subscriptions were invited from “all gentlemen in the Colony” in aid of the amusement fund. The committee comprised Messrs. Dorset, Durie, Watt, Duppa, Molesworth, Strang, White, St. Hill, Barrett, Doddrey, Dr. Johnston and Major Baker.

The following summarised items appeared in the same number of the Gazette, viz.:—

page 51

That road contracts for cutting roads 6ft. wide up the valley were taken by George White and Mr. Deans; that the Pickwick Club had been formed and meetings were to be held at Elsdon's Commercial Inn and Tavern.

The arrival of the “Jewess” on the 17th May with Mr. C. Cohen as passenger.

That the Port Nicholson Tavern and Coffee House had commenced business, and that Mr. T. Roskell's store, at the west end of the beach, was opened.

That a game of cricket had been arranged between the gentlemen of Thorndon and members of the Pickwick Club.