New Zealand Settlement

The European Settlement of New Zealand

Brief histories of the establishment and settlement of some of the towns and districts in New Zealand from the early days of organised European settlement. These include links to the ships that arrived with settlers for each area. This list will be added to.

Immigration to New Zealand - from Archives New Zealand


Although settled under the auspices of the New Zealand Company and not initially recognised by the British Government, Wellington was the first bid to formally and permanently settle the islands of New Zealand. It was because of the initiative taken by E G Wakefield and his colleagues that these islands were colonised by Britain rather than France.


AUCKLAND The imperative that led to the formal recognition of New Zealand as a Colony by the British Government was made even more pressing by the activities of the New Zealand Company in Wellington. It was in Auckland that Governor Hobson established New Zealand's first if short-lived seat of Government.
NELSON Once established in the Wellington region, the New Zealand Company cast it's gaze further afield. Across the notorious stretch of water called Cook's Straight was the warm and fertile region of Nelson and it was here that emigrants travelled from the earliest days of the 1840's.


OTAGO In climate, architecture and population Dunedin is a true Scottish city. Settled by the Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland in 1848, the Dunedin (the old Gaelic name was used to avoid another "New something-or-other" in the colony) grew slowly at first but with the expansion of sheep farming and the discovery of coal and gold New Zealand's Scottish city grew rapidly to become the "capital" of the south.


THE  MANAWATU Between Wellington and Wanganui lie the broad fertile plains and hilly inland area of Manawatu. To its west lies the Tasman Sea and to its east the gateway (Manawatu Gorge) to the broad, flat Wairarapa. The fertility of its soil and the warmth of its climate made the Manawatu a sought-after region for settlement and several immigration schemes brought new settlers to the area.


AKAROA new.BMP (1286 bytes) Near the tip of Banks Peninsula, east of Christchurch, lies a small township with a special history and an unusual beginning. Akaroa is a slice of France nestled in the very English Province of Canterbury where the streets have French names and the whole area evokes a tale from the past of what might have been.