Shipbuilding was one of the few European manufacturing industries to predate colonisation. But the timber and flax resources were never much good for naval spars and rope, as once hoped. However, after Ngāpuhi chief Patuone visited Sydney in 1826 to promote the Hokianga as a trading base, New South Wales merchants opened a mill and shipyard there, naming it Deptford after the famous Royal Navy establishment in England. They built several ships, including the big barque Sir George Murray in 1830.
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National Library of Australia, Rex Nan Kivell Collection
Watercolour by Augustus Earle
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