Spectators watch a cricket game in Christopher Aubrey's painting of Wellington's Basin Reserve. The ground had once been a shallow lagoon linked to the harbour by a stream, and a potential dock for boats. However, the 1855 Wairarapa earthquake lifted the ground by two metres. In 1857 cricketers, concerned that they had no established place to play, convinced the Wellington provincial government to set aside the land as a park for cricket and public recreation. Canterbury Province had set aside Hagley Park for games and recreation two years earlier. Such decisions were among the earliest forms of government support for sport in New Zealand.
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Wellington College Archives
Artwork by Christopher Aubrey
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