| The Streets of my city, Wellington New Zealand, |
by F. L. Irvine-Smith. (1948).
|Contents: a letter | Part One chapters: 1 | 2 | Part Two chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 |
Part Three chapters: Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Appendix
WELLINGTON, from its very configuration, is a city of far-flung suburbs. The first settlers entering Lambton Harbour, the south-west arm of Port Nicholson on which the city stands, were confronted with lofty hills descending steeply to the sea, varied only by a couple of scoops of level land at a considerable distance apart. The smaller of these received from the new arrivals the name of Thorndon Flat; the larger one took its name from the Maori Pa already on the spot - Te Aro Flat.
It was on these two flats, and later in the narrow valleys running up between the ridges of the hills, that settlement first began. Colonel Wakefield fixed his headquarters on Thorndon Flat and official Wellington followed. The situation had its advantages. It was closer to the abandoned Hutt Valley, where many settlers had elected to remain, and closer to the only exits to the north. The business section took up its quarters in the vicinity of Te Aro, where the earliest deep water wharf was erected in 1841. There was at first but a narrow track of shoreline connecting the two centres, but as time went on, an increasing amount of land between the two was reclaimed from the sea to meet the ever-growing needs of the city for level land. Thus begun, the Thorndon end has remained, to a large extent, the official end of the city, while the business part still consists of the Te Aro Flat, as well as the thickly built intervening area of reclaimed land. On the surrounding hills lie most of the outlying suburbs, some of which are out of sight of the city proper. Here are to be found the main residential areas, which with increasing transport facilities, year by year reach farther and farther afield.