Sometimes called the ‘father of New Plymouth’, surveyor Frederic Carrington was contracted by the Plymouth Company to select and survey the proposed settlement of New Plymouth. He chose the Taranaki site instead of several possible places in the upper South Island, even though it lacked a protected harbour until Port Taranaki was established in 1881. Carrington’s 1842 map records in detail the topography of the area, and shows the precise grid he laid out for the town’s streets, completely ignoring the many river valleys. Carrington’s tight street grid survived in 21st-century New Plymouth, but made traffic movement through the central city difficult at times. Carrington went back to Britain in 1843, but returned to New Plymouth soon after to become one of the town’s most respected citizens.
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