Once colonisation began, surveyors were employed by both the Crown and the New Zealand Company to lay out towns for the new settlers. Felton Mathew worked as the Crown’s surveyor general. When Governor William Hobson decided to move the capital south from the Bay of Islands, Mathew was sent on a reconnaissance survey to the Waitematā. Although he recommended a site on the Tāmaki River, Hobson preferred a site further north, and Mathew drew up this plan, based around Commercial Bay (at the foot of what became Queen Street). His plan for Auckland is a series of crescents around the existing shoreline and expanding from ‘Trafalgar Circus’, where Albert Park is today. In part this plan was based on Mathew’s hometown of Bath, England, and the crescent shape was suited to Auckland’s volcanic terrain. Although the Grand Circus never came into being, a number of Mathew’s streets still exist.
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Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero
Reference: NZ Map 2664
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