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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



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Influence of Situation

The north-west – south-east trend of the hills has hampered the development of transport links between the city and its northern hinterland. This physical obstacle has resulted in the formation of only one main arterial outlet from the city as far as Ngauranga, where it bifurcates to continue northwards to the Manawatu and north-eastwards to the Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa. The steepness of the surrounding hills has largely determined the physical layout of the city. The commercial and industrial concerns are situated on the few flat areas of the inner business district while the suburbs occupy sites enjoying sunny positions and views of the harbour.

Due to its position astride the Wellington Fault, the city has had many earthquakes, one or two of which have affected the face of the city. The one in 1855 raised much of the coast of the harbour some five feet and aided reclamation work along the Lambton foreshore, where Wellington's commercial district now stands. Another heavy tremor occurred in 1942, when considerable damage was done to buildings in the city and surrounding districts.

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