| Twelve months in Wellington / by John Wood (1843)
|Contents: preface | introduction | narrative page 1 | chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10|
Cook's Strait was the locality selected for this settlement before the preliminary expedition left the shores of Britain ; and the reasons which led to this choice were its central position, and its being the route pursued by the wool ships of Australia in their homeward voyage |
The first of these advantages it possesses, and so does Holy Head for the capital of the British Isles. The other inducement has been proved fallacious, not one of the above vessels having looked into Port Nicholson since the settlement was established. Cook's Straits are avoided by the ships in question, their course being directed either north or south of the islands. A subsidiary reason was its proximity to the whaling ground ; but during my residence at Wellington we were only visited by two ships, the Wallaby and Lady Mary Pelham while in January of this year, no fewer than twelve whalers were refitting in the Bay of Islands. But the New Zealand Company having committed themselves to Port Nicholson, plant other settlements to the southward and arguing from its central position and present distribution of population, turn round on Government and inquire why the Governor does not take up his residence at Wellington among the people. On this question the Colonist naively remarks, "The main error in the proceedings of Captain Hobson, in his public capacity was, it appears to us, the fixing of the seat of Government at a distance from the majority of the population. If the New Zealand Company had not colonized Port Nicholson, we think that no one would have excepted to the wisdom of the selection made by Captain Hobson". And, forsooth, because this dictatorial body have committed an error, the prospects of thousands are to be as nothing. If amount of population is to determine the position of the capital of New Zealand, it requires no prophet to foretell this, despite the efforts of the Company to the contrary. Auckland, in the course of years, must become the chief colony, for here nature has done what neither capital nor puffing can do for Wellington.