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New Plymouth, New Zealand

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  • Emma Mara Walker (1833 - 1915)
  • Alma Myrtle Thomson (1924 - 1996)
  • Jemima Nicholls (1833 - 1871)
    Emigration 22 June 1841 • Sailed from Plymouth, England. Arrived in New Plymouth, New Zealand on 7 November 1841 on board the "Oriental". The Captain was William Wilson and the Surgeon Superintendent w...
  • Mary Ann Boyd (c.1831 - 1871)
    Emigration 22 June 1841 • Sailed from Plymouth, England. Arrived in New Plymouth, New Zealand on 7 November 1841 on board the "Oriental". The Captain was William Wilson and the Surgeon Superintendent w...
  • Sophia Agnes Pepperell (1801 - 1862)

New Plymouth, Taranaki's only city, was the region’s first Pākehā settlement and has always been the largest. Originally called Ngāmotu (the islands), the site of New Plymouth was occupied for hundreds of years by Māori. Pākehā traders set up a trading station at Ngāmotu in 1828, but it was not until 1841–42 that planned settlement by the Plymouth Company brought 868 immigrants from Devon and Cornwall in England to the ‘New‘ Plymouth.

Early Traders

John (Jacky) Love, master of the trading ship Adventure, and his first mate Richard (Dicky) Barrett arrived off Ngamotu (later New Plymouth) from Sydney, in February, 1828. They quickly formed good relationships with local hapu and iwi, and set up a trading post, trading muskets, ironware and trinkets for flax, maize, wheat and vegetables grown by local Te Atiawa. Both men married women from prominent Te Atiawa families. Love married Mereruru Te Hikanui from Ngati Te Whiti hapu. Barrett married Wakaiwa or Rawinia, also of Ngati Te Whiti hapu.

The First Settlers

The first of the town’s settlers arrived on the William Bryan, which anchored off the coast on 31 March 1841. In steerage were 21 married couples, 22 single adults and 70 children.

The second ship, Amelia Thompson, arrived off the Taranaki coast on 3 September and sat off shore for five weeks because its captain feared Ngamotu's reputation as a dangerous shipping area. Its 187 passengers were helped ashore by Barrett and his men over the course of two weeks, each small boatload taking five hours to row from the vessel to the shore.

As summer arrived, buildings began to be erected, gardens planted and wheat sown. Other ships soon arrived to provide more labour and food supplies: the Oriental (130 passengers) on 7 November 1841; the Timandra (202 passengers) on 23 February 1842; the Blenheim (138 passengers) on 19 November 1842; and the Essex (115 passengers) on 25 January 1843, by which time the town was described as a collection of raupo and pitsawn timber huts housing almost 1000 Europeans.

Mayors of New Plymouth