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Bay of Islands (Russell)

I am not sure if this is an area to settle straight of the plane. The economy of Bay of Islands is mainly tourism, plus some farming, forestry and fishing. Russell is (in our opinion) the nicest town in the area and one of the most expensive to stay in, but cheaper accommodation is available a short ferry journey away in Pahia (backpackers heaven) See Short way Up, Dec. 2007
The reason Russell is listed in this section, is that we would like to live there.

Believe me there are no better ways to watch the sun go down than from the deck of the “Duke of Marlborough” (good food and drink) see website at the bottom of this page

A bit of History

borrowed from Wikipedia When European and American ships began visiting New Zealand in the early 1800s the indigenous Māori quickly recognised there were great advantages in trading with these strangers, who they called tauiwi.

The Bay of Islands offered a safe anchorage and had a high Māori population. To attract ships, Māori began to supply food and timber. What Māori wanted were respect, plus firearms, alcohol, and other goods of European manufacture.

Kororareka developed as a result of this trade but soon earned a very bad reputation, a community without laws and full of prostitution, and became known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific”, despite the translation of its name being “How sweet is the penguin.” European law had no influence and Māori law was seldom enforced within the town's area.

On 30 January 1840 at the Christ Church, Governor Hobson read his Proclamations (which were the beginnings of the Treaty of Waitangi) in the presence of a number of settlers and the Maori chief, Moka Te Kainga-mataa. A document confirming what had happened was signed at this time by around forty witnesses; including Moka [the only Maori signatory]. The following week, the Treaty proceedings would then move across to the Western side of the bay to Waitangi.

By this time, Kororareka was an important mercantile centre and served as a vital resupply port for whaling and sealing operations. When the Colony of New Zealand was founded in that year, Hobson was reluctant to choose Kororareka as his capital, due to its bad reputation. Instead he purchased land at Okiato, situated nine kilometres to the south, and renamed it Russell in honour of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord John Russell. A year later the capital was moved to Auckland on the orders of the Australian-based British colonial authorities.[2]

In 1841-2, Jean Baptiste Pompallier established a Roman Catholic Mission in Russell, which contained a printing press for the production of Māori-language religious texts. His building, known as Pompallier Mission, remains in the care of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

At the beginning of the Flagstaff War in 1845 (touched off by the repeated felling and re-erection of the symbol of British Sovereignty on Flagstaff Hill above the town), the town of Kororareka / Russell was sacked by Hone Heke, after diversionary raids drew away the British defenders. The flagstaff was felled for the fourth time, and the inhabitants fled aboard British ships, which then shelled and destroyed most of the houses.

Kororareka was part of the Port of Russell and after Russell (Okiato) became virtually deserted, Kororareka gradually became known as Russell also. In January 1844 Governor Robert FitzRoy officially designated Kororareka as part of the township of Russell. Today the name Russell applies only to Kororareka while the former capital is known either by its original name of Okiato or as Old Russell.

Russell Website

Houses and prices in Russell and Local Area

Duke of Marlborough website

Northland Dive and the Cowshed Backpackers

If you want a dive company for divers (including technical diving) - i.e. not just your average PADI dive operator for tourists - try Northland Dive, and the attached 'Cowshed Backpackers'.

Shane and Julia run both - and will provide you with great diving, home-from-home accommodation, and even an evening meal!


living_in_new_zealand/where_to_live_out_of_auckland/bay_of_islands_russell.txt · Last modified: 2010/11/02 13:36 by art
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