Zeitblick - Series

City, My City - Series Three
By Peter Wells

Wellington Harbour / Foto: Peter Wells

What's In A Name? - The Port of Wellington has several valid and recognisable names: the original Maori name of Te Whanganui-a-Tara (the great harbour of Tara); Port Nicholson as it was known by the early settlers; Wellington Harbour as it is known to most of its residents now; CentrePort as its commercial identity is known.

Semi-circular in shape and almost completely landlocked, Wellington Harbour is amongst the most beautiful and functional in the world. A narrow entrance keeps its calm, deep waters protected from external oceans and safe for most shipping. The next series of stories for "City, My City" is about Wellington Harbour, its coastline, its waters, its shipping and its history.

The vast expanse of Wellington Harbour photographed from the summit of Mount Kaukau. From the left can be seen the three islands of Mokopuna/Leper, Matiu/Somes and Makoro/Ward. To the right is part of the peninsula that used to be Motukairangi Island. Foto: Peter Wells 2008

Series 3 / Part 1

Children of Kupe / The Islands of Wellington Harbour

The harbour of Wellington is a drowned valley which was tilted sideways over one million years ago by a major rupture in the Wellington faultline. Earthquakes over the centuries have continued to deepen and shape the harbour forming a huge circular bowl once described as a harbour that could safelty hold at anchor all the navies of the world. Within this drowned valley is a high ridge whose peaks break the surface in three places forming the islands of Wellington Harbour - Mokopuna/Leper Island, Matiu/Somes and Makoro/Ward. This story tells some of the history behind these islands from the earliest days of Maori occupation to the present day.

Series 3 / Part 2

Shaken, Not Stirred