History Of Auckland

The Establishment of Auckland

As part of a British colonial settlement, Auckland came into existence in 1840. Chosen as New Zealand's capital by the first governor, Lieutenant William Hobson, it remained that way until 1865 when the title was transferred to Wellington.

It was during this period that Auckland grew rapidly and by 1841 the population reached 2,000. Religion also spread during this time, with the Roman Catholic Church built in Freemans Bay and the Church of England built in Parnell.

By 1844 Queen, Princes and Shortland Streets were formed and metalled. The government centre developed around the Princes Street area was the core for the Government House, parliament, the court and the barrack for the British 58th Regiment as well homes of many of Auckland's leading citizens.

While initial development focused on Commercial Bay at the bottom of Queen Street, by 1864 the limits of Auckland were Parnell in the east and Freemans Bay in the west. It was during this period, that Queen Street began to progressively overtake Shortland Street as the predominant commercial strip.

During the 1870s and 1880s there was a great surge in immigration. The population expanded from 7,000 in 1861 to 33,000 in 1886. In this period the Auckland Art Gallery and library, the hospital and many churches, hotels and commercial buildings were constructed.

The investment boom also encouraged the growth of Auckland's industries. Merchants and factory owners alike saw the advantages of land close to the port of Auckland. From the 1880s the area bounded by Customs, Queen, Quay and Breakwater Streets was developed with warehouse, factories, shipping offices and a 24-hour flour mill. The city's most prominent businesses were well represented in the area.

For a more detailed history of Auckland City please click here

To find out more about how Heart of the City gets involved with Heritage click here