New Zealand accommodation tourism and travel information -
Dunedin, New Zealand's oldest city is situated
on the south-eastern coast of New Zealand's South Island,
Dunedin is the main centre of Otago, a region
recognized for its spectacular scenery. Dunedin's art
gallery and museums contain some of the best collections in
New Zealand. The Otago Peninsula which lies within the
city boundaries has internationally renowned wildlife
reserves, including the rare Royal Albatross breeding
ground and Yellow-Eyed & Little Blue Penguin
OF DUNEDIN NEW ZEALAND
'John Wickliffe' and the 'Philip Laing' landed with the
first settlers in 'Dunedin' in 1848.
It was the end of a period of intense activity, both at
'Home' and in New Zealand. But not entirely the end -
the people working in Dunedin learnt only at the last
minute that the settler ships would soon be there, so
there was nothing much for the new arrivals to live in
when they arrived.
first organised European settlements of New Zealand
had been organised by the New Zealand Company, under
EG Wakefield, in 1839-1840, at Wellington, and around
that Central area.
shall found a New Edinburgh at the Antipodes that shall
one day rival the old', he predicted. It would be a 'class
settlement' all right, but one founded upon the 'Free
Church'. Which is where Rennie eventually bowed out.
was Wakefield's idea of the 'class settlement' (transposing
a cross-section of the Old Country to NZ, from the labouring
peasant to the capitalist) which inspired further settler
movements in Britain, including in Scotland, where it
at first centered around George Rennie, MP. He, in 1842,
first proposed the establishment of a Scottish settlement:
he reins were enthusiastically taken over by the future
'leader' of the new town, Captain William Cargill, who
had fought in the Peninsula War, and who was now in his
sixties. His 'Free Church' religious organizer was to
be the Rev Thomas Burns, nephew of the bard, who had forsaken
the Established Church after the 1843 Disruption. Although
the problems in the way were mighty, there were also circumstances
favourable - it was 'the hungry forties', landlordism
was stripping the Highlands, the people needed fresh beginnings,
and NZ was one of the chosen lands.
A Lay Association of
the Free Church of Scotland for the NZ settlement was
established, and they entered upon an arrangement with
the NZ Company: the Co would make available 144,600
acres of land, divided into 2,400 properties.
* Town allotment 1/4
* Suburban allotment 10 acres
* Rural allotment 50 acres
The cost would be 2
pounds per acre. The direction was obviously to make
people town-dwellers, and also give them a start as
farmers. Of course, this meant the NZ Co in NZ had to
get things going.
A priority had been
to find a place for people to settle in the South Island.
NZ Co surveyors inspected areas as prospects, one not
liking the Otago site at all. Edward Shortland, the
government's Protector of Aborigines, with local Maori
guides, entered the Harbour, proceeding to the upper
reaches, then over a period of days walked what was
to become the "Otago Block". (It is probable
that the word 'Otago' came from the Southern Maori pronunciation
of the village at the Heads, 'Otakou', which had also
been a whaling station, now abandoned.) They came to
the hills over-looking a hilly and heavily-wooded harbour.
This was the area that
Frederick Tuckett, commissioned by Wakefield, came to
consider in 1844. He had been told to find a site for
settlement, initially Banks Peninsula, in what was to
become Canterbury. The site was to be called 'New Edinburgh'.
Tuckett surveyed the South Island's East coast, looking
for useful harbours, on and off the chartered 'Deborah',
walking with, or without, local guides. He tried Port
Cooper (Lyttelton), didn't like it, went to Otago, walking
the last miles overland, at that time a very rough trip.
He found the 'Deborah' waiting for him, in the bay ever
since called after the little vessel. He and his team
of surveyors (Barnicoat and Davidson) walked the territory
and came back, minds made up. On such trips is history
The local Maori were
now involved: the land had to be bought, and the locals
wanted a high price. Wakefield came down from Wellington
with Government officials, and distributed 2,400 pounds
in cash to the chiefs for disbursement, and four-penny
pieces into out-thrust hands. It was a very large block
of land, from North of the Harbour, right down to the
Molyneux (now Clutha) River, and inland by several miles.
Surveying began, and
the movement to gather financial backers, capitalists,
and other settlers, began in Scotland. It could have
flown, but the plan suffered set-backs, amongst which,
the NZ Co fell into financial difficulties. Everything
slowed down, Tuckett returned to England, those NZ settlers
who came to the future city site to help with preparations
(including setting up an hotel!) languished in hope.
Finally, the surveyors
came back in 1846, led by 25-year-old Charles Kettle,
to lay out the site. He had spent time in Edinburgh recently,
and this knowledge enabled him to reproduce some of its
characteristics and names in the new Edinburgh of the
South. (In order to do this, of course, he frequently
had to ignore the fact that straight street lines, though
pretty on paper, have to ignore the sometimes near-vertical
slopes of the future town's hills, and the many areas
of swamp on the flat.) He brought with him a new wife,
11 surveyors and 25 labourers.
By the end of 1846 the pegs were
being established. At that time, the sea covered much
of the level ground, the swamps were fed from descending
streams, and what was to be the principal street (Princes
St through the Octagon to George St) was cut in two
by a steep hill. Of course, it wasn't Kettle's task
to make the streets, just lay them out! Rennie's plan
had been to have builders and labourers follow behind,
but he was gone from the Lay Association in Scotland.
To add to the difficulties of preparation, communications
were so slow between the UK and NZ, and Wellington and
Otago, that Wakefield found out the impending departure
of the two first ships just before they left, and the
boat he sent to Otago with stores and building materials
arrived not long before the settlers.
of 'New Edinburgh', had been chosen as the name of the
new town in the promised land. It was the Celtic form
of 'Edinburgh', and was part of the movement against
establishing 'new' cities which had been current, eg
New York. The two ships had sailed separately, the 'John
Wickliffe' leaving Gravesend on the 24th November, 1847,
and the 'Philip Laing' leaving Greenock three days later.
The former carried Captain Cargill, 97 emigrants and
a large quantity of stores. A majority of her passengers
were not Free Kirkers, but Church of England (showing
how difficult it had been to sell the idea of leaving
everything for a foreign land to enough Scots). The
'Philip Laing' was only a little boat (450 tons), carrying
247 passengers. In charge was the Rev Thomas Burns.
It would be a voyage of 117 days, during which there
was no land in sight! She finally arrived on the 15th
April, 1848, three weeks after the 'John Wickliffe'.
Life on board the 'Philip Laing'
was disciplined and ordered. The emigrants rose at 6.30
am, roll-call 7.30 am, then quarters cleaned. Breakfast
followed, then morning worship at 10.30 am. There were
93 children under 14, so they had school at 11 am, under
the supervision of the Schoolmaster, James Blackie.
Lunch followed, then, after free-time, school was re-called
at 4 pm. Steerage passengers had tea at 5.30 pm, the
cabin party at 6.30 pm. Evening worship brought the
day to a close. And weekly rations for the steerage
51/4 lbs hard ship's biscuits; 31/2 lbs flour; 1lb beef;
11/2 lbs prime mess pork; 1lb preserved meat; 1lb rice;
1lb barley; 1/2 lb raisins; 3 oz suet; 1 pint peas;
1 oz tea; 11/2 oz coffee; 3/4 lb sugar; 7 oz butter;
1/2 pint vinegar or pickles; 2 oz salt; 1/2 oz mustard;
21 quarts water; 31/2 pounds potatoes.
Steerage passengers had paid
16 guineas passage money, cabin passengers from 35 guineas
upwards.The 'John Wickliffe' had arrived off the coast
opposite Saddle Hill on the 21st March, and finally
entered the Harbour, accompanied by Kettle and Richard
Henry Driver, the 'pilot', on the 23rd. The women and
children stayed for a time on board while the men made
their way to the town site, hastening to erect barracks
on the beach, a jetty, a store (although a lot of the
cargo had to stay covered in tarpaulins on the beach
for a time). While building went on, the men lived in
the bush, or in tents. Thankfully the weather was settled.
One labourer wrote: "If I had been in Scotland,
I would have been dead. I lived several nights in the
bush, but found no ill effects from it."
Two sets of barracks were eventually
built, one for the Scottish, the other for the English
colonists. The 'Philip Laing' barracks were much larger,
and divided into three: married couples in the middle,
unmarried men and women at separate ends. Partly pre-fabricated
cottages had been brought out for the leaders, and these
were erected. The first note for the new settlement was
struck by Captain Cargill, the 'father' and leader, when
he addressed a united meeting of his pioneers: "My
friends, it is a fact that the eyes of the British Empire,
and I may say of Europe and America, are upon us. The
rulers of our great country have struck out a system of
colonization on liberal and enlightened principles. And
small as we now are, we are the pre-cursors of the first
settlement which is to put that settlement to the test."
DUNEDIN NEW ZEALAND ACCOMMODATION TRAVEL TOURISM INFORMATION