Story: Public service

Public servants: Willoughby Shortland (1st of 3)

Public servants: Willoughby Shortland

New Zealand's first colonial secretary, Lieutenant Willoughby Shortland, is depicted in his British Navy uniform in this 1903 portrait (a copy of an earlier one), painted long after his death in 1869. Shortland arrived in New Zealand in 1840 with William Hobson, who became New Zealand's first governor. In 1843, faced with determining blame for the Wairau affray – in which Māori and settlers fought over land, and 22 settlers and 4 Māori were killed – Shortland expressed disapproval of the actions of the settlers. He was dismissed from his post later that year.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-044-005
Watercolour by James Ingram McDonald

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Richard Shaw, 'Public service - What is the public service?', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 July 2024)

Story by Richard Shaw, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 8 Mar 2021