Story: Northland places

The first capital of New Zealand

The first capital of New Zealand

After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, William Hobson purchased land at Okiato to establish the country’s first capital. When the capital was moved to Auckland in 1841, the settlement at Okiato burned to the ground. Okiato was called Russell in 1840, but later the name was transferred to Kororāreka, 7 kilometres north. This view of the capital was sketched by Felton Mathew on 6 April 1840 and shows Government House, which was occupied by Hobson.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: E-216-f-165
Pencil work by Felton Matthew

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:

Claudia Orange, 'Northland places - Russell', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/7809/the-first-capital-of-new-zealand (accessed 23 April 2019)

Story by Claudia Orange, updated 4 May 2015