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Auckland History, New Zealand

The history of Auckland can be traced back to the times when the site was first settled by the Maori people around the1350s. Of course, Auckland was not Auckland then, it was instead known as Tamaki Makau Rau and meant ‘the isthmus of one thousand lovers’. The high productiveness of the land and its strategic importance became too strong a lure for the Maoris and they set up a terraced pas (fortified Maori villages) around the several volcanic peaks in the area.

History Of Auckland And The Initial Europeans

European explorers touched the land in the late 18th century and settlers of European-origin started pouring in by the 1820s. Although the native tribes existing then had tried resisting the Europeans, they could not succeed and slowly the outsiders started acquiring lands, mostly buying them for paltry sums/things. The present-day Auckland-site and its neighboring lands are said to have been bought by Joseph Brooks Weller in 1832 against “one large cask of powder”. Although the area saw no development in the 1830s, its Maori population dwindled, falling to deadly diseases and to musket-wars (both introduced by the Europeans).

History Of Auckland And The Treaty Of Waitangi

By 1840, the Maori population in the area had fallen to less than 500. Sensing deep trouble, Maori chieftain Te Kawau (along with six other tribal chiefs) met with the New Zealand Governor, William Hobson and they signed the Treaty of Waitangi in the first half of 1840.

The treaty not only gave the British Crown control over New Zealand, it also proved beneficial for the development of the British colony. It was in September 1840 in Auckland history when Governor Hobson laid the foundation of the city of Auckland (naming it after his friend and patron, George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland) and declaring it as the capital of the British colony. Of course, this was for a short stint as Auckland lost the capital status to Wellington (then known as Port Nicholson) in 1865.

Despite the loss of its capital status (which had more to do with Port Nicholson’s central location than to anything else), Auckland went on to experience all-round progress in the later years of the 19th century. This led to an influx of settlers from within the nation and even from outside. Rapid population-growth, however, never posed a threat as it has been dodged through expansion of the city and by 1900, Auckland became the largest city of New Zealand (followed by Hamilton at second place and Wellington at third place). Today, Auckland is the most commercially developed city of New Zealand and it has an equally laudable infrastructure.

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Auckland City Ratings

  • Rating48%
    City Rank349
  • History & Culture: rated for 70%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 40%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 60%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 60%
  • Food: rated for 50%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 50%
  • Shopping: rated for 30%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 20%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 60%
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