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Jade River: A History of the Mahurangi

Ronald H Locker
First published 2001. Published online 2014–. This online edition is a work in progress…


Page 59in printed edition

Introduction to Mahurangi surveys and settlement

Treaty of Waitangi signing

Reluctant Surveyor-General: The colony’s first surveyor-general, Felton Mathew, sailed to the Bay of Islands with Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson and witnessed the signing of the treaty at Waitangi. Whether any of the artists’ reconstructions of the event depict him is unclear, and the only other extant image of him is a caricature, and a silhouette at that. Far from pleased with his assignment away from New South Wales, he had a jaundiced view of the treaty process that asked, as he despicably put it, “a few barbarians if they would allow the establishment of British authority over them.” artist Marcus King

Rejected as the site for the capital, Mahurangi was seen as desirable for rural settlement.

All the coast from Te Ārai to the Waitematā was purchased in 1841. After concessions to the local tribes, the surveys went ahead, and Mahurangi Harbour land sales began in 1853. Those who had been squatters were able to become permanent settlers under Sir George Grey’s policy of cheap land, and later under the provincial government’s freeland grants.