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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Port Nicholson

page 305

Port Nicholson, now better known by its more usual designation of Wellington Harbour, is situated near the southernmost extremity of the North Island on the straits called after the great English navigator, Captain Cook, which divide the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and it is therefore the geographical centre of the Colony and the natural port not only for its own immediate district, but for the interchange of traffic to and from the smaller harbours on both the East and West Coasts of the North and South Islands. Its position is, however, of less importance than the advantages it derives from its natural features, in being easy of access, land-locked, and therefore well sheltered; in being of considerable, but not of excessive depth and magnitude; in its bed being of a tenacious, silty clay and sand, thus affording good anchorage; and in the absence of any swift-moving currents within its limits. The entrance to the harbour lies in a direction nearly on the magnetic meridian, and is marked on its eastern face by a lighthouse on Pencarrow Head, carrying a fixed white light, placed at 420 feet above the sea-level, and visible in fine weather for twenty-seven miles. The western side of the entrance is formed by a long ridge of rocks with their summits standing well above high water, and known as Barrett's Reef. The width of the channel at its narrowest place is some 3,600 feet, having a depth in the channel of from six to eleven fathoms, whilst the greatest depth inside the harbour is about fifteen fathoms. The current in the entrance never exceeds two knots, and the rise and fall of the tide varies from three to four feet. Within the harbour, on Somes Island, about six mil[unclear: es] from Pencarrow, is placed a fixed light seventy-five feet above the sea level, and visible in fair weather for ten miles, arranged to show a white sector in the fairway of the channel, a green light on the eastern side, and a red light on the western side. These lights are under the control of the General Government of the Colony, and are supported by dues levied upon the ships visiting the port. It will be apparent to nautical men from this description that the entrance to the Harbour of Wellington is one easily made and navigated. Sailing vessels can approach the harbour without feat, as in southerly weather they can run right in before the wind, and in northerly weather they can come to an anchor in excellent holding ground about one mile south of Barrett's Reef, and keeping the reef in line. At night time a position south of the reef, as near as possible on the line dividing the red and white sectors of the Somes Island light affords a safe anchorage. The area of the harbour inside the outer rock of Barrett's Reef is some twenty thousand acres, and the City of Wellington with its wharves is situated at the head of a bay in the south-west corner of the harbour (locally known as Lambton Harbour), about four miles distant from Somes Island light, and some eight miles distant by the course usually steered by large steamers from a point abreast of Penearrow Lighthouse. The legal limit seaward of the harbour is bounded by a circular are having a radius of three miles, with its centre on the outer rock of Barrett's Reef. The entrance, after about one-and-a-half miles, widens out on the western side and forms a sheltered bay known as Worser, or Young's Bay, and within it good anchorage is obtained in a sheltered position, with six fathoms of water; adjacent to this bay is the seaside suburb of Seatoun, and also the buildings formerly occupied by the men of the pilot service. The eastern side of the harbour is bounded by hilly land, but there are sheltered bays, and two of these—known as Hautrey and Lowry Bays—are each provided with landing jetties, and form pleasant summer resorts. The western side of the entrance for a couple of miles north of Worser Bay is also hilly, and forms a succession of sheltered bays and rocky points terminating in Point Halswell, round which entering vessels turn to the westward towards the town.

The Hutt River, the only important stream flowing into Port Nicholson, discharges into the north-east corner of the Harbour. It is not navigable for trading vessels. The valley of the Hutt terminates in a shelving, sandy beach forming the north-north-east boundary of the harbour for a distance of some two-and-a-half miles, and contiguous thereto is the township of Petone, which is situated about seven miles from Wellington, and may be considered its manufacturing suburb. It contains the workshops of the Government railways, slaughter-yards, freezing and meat preserving works, fellmongeries and manure works, woollen factory, soap works, cooperage and brewery, with other manufacturing industries of smaller moment. There is also situated close to this beach the show-grounds of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and the race-course, which latter is served by a private line of railway running along the beach, and connecting with the Government line at Petone. Projecting from the foreshore for a length of about 1100 feet into water having a depth of seventeen feet at low water, and sheltered from the southerly winds and waves rolling up the harbour by being under the lea of Somes Island (from which it is distant about a mile-and-a-half), a jetty has been constructed by the Gear Meat Preserving and Refrigerating Company, Ltd., where they land their coal into trucks running on a line of rails communicating directly with their works, and ship frozen meat into their storage hulk “Jubilee” for transport to the ocean steamers lying at the wharves at Wellington. The north-westerly side of the harbour is bounded by steep hills, along the foot of which run the main road and the line of railway serving Petone and the fertile districts of the Hutt and Wairarapa valleys, which is now in course of extension to the Hawkes Bay and Napier districts via Woodville. Situated on page 306
Queen's Wharf.From the General Post Office.

Queen's Wharf.
From the General Post Office.

(From a Photograph by Mr. G. F. Smith, Lieut. R.N., Assistant Secretary to the Harbour Board, by whom all the photographs illustrative of the Harbour have been kindly furnished.)

this side of the harbour on the railway line are the stations and townships of Kaiwarra and Ngahauranga, respectively about two and four miles from Wellington, nestling in the narrow valleys containing the streams called by those names. At the former there are soapworks, fellmongeries and tanneries, and at the latter, freezing-works, slaughter-yards, fellmongeries, tallow and manure-works, with tanneries. At Kaiwarra is situated a Government jetty, which is used exclusively for landing and shipping gunpowder and other explosives, which are stored in a magazine placed in a secluded position in the valley of the Kaiwarra stream.

The south-western limit of the harbour is bordered by the City of Wellington, which surrounds Lambton Harbour for a frontage of nearly three miles, of which frontage over two miles represent reclamations made from time to time from the sea, with the result that, aided by dredging, deep water now exists close up to the greater part of the sea-frontage, thus enabling the shipping to be brought into close proximity with the business portions of the town. The portion of Lambton Harbour, known as the inner anchorage, and lying between Pipitea Point on the western side and the City Boundary at Oriental Bay, near Point Jerningham on the eastern side, has an area of about 375 acres, and in it are situated the wharves, the anchorage for men-of-war, and the moorings for the hulks which hold the large supplies of coal always kept in stock in the harbour. Although the anchorage for men-of-war is close to the town, these vessels have on many occasions been berthed at the wharves. Lying between Lambton Harbour and the entrance is Evans Bay, a deep inlet, having an opening about a mile wide between Point Jerningham on the western side and Point Halswell on its eastern side, and with a depth trending about two miles to the south, being only separated from the ocean at its southern end by a low-lying tract of sandy land about half-a-mile wide, which divides it from an inlet of the ocean known as Lyell Bay. On the western side of Evans Bay, in a sheltered position, is situated the Patent Slip, owned by the Wellington Patent Slip Company, Ltd., and on the other side of the bay there has been constructed in the hillside a magazine for storing dynamite and other explosives, the property of the Nobel Explosives Company. Placed on the hillsides at Kaiwarra and on the peninsula lying between Evans Bay and the entrance are the fortifications which have been constructed with a view to the defence of the harbour, and there also exists a mine field partly laid, and partly provided for rapid laying in time of war, across the entrance in a position covered by the guns of these forts. In connection with these fortifications there have been two jetties constructed by the Government in sheltered bays on the eastern and western faces of this peninsula. Somes Island, about half-a-mile long by a quarter-of-a-mile in greatest width, with a greatest height of 250 feet, contains in addition to the harbour lighthouse and its appurtenances, the station for quarantining both man and beast. The quarantine buildings are very extensive, having been originally built for use as barracks for immigrants arriving in the Colony. The page 307 island is served by a jetty on its northern side. It was formerly a large Maori stronghold. The only other island within the harbour is a small one known as Ward's Island, lying some two miles to the south-south-east of Somes Island, and restricting with the Hope Shoal on which it stands, the passage at that point to about a mile in width.

The latitude of Wellington at the Customhouse, contiguous to the Queen's Wharf, is 41 deg. 17 min. 17 sec. S., and the longitude is 174 deg. 49 min. 15 sec. E. High water, full and change, occurs at the wharves at Wellington about four hours thirty minutes, and ranges from three to five feet, but on account of the disturbing influences of wind and weather on the adjacent coasts, combined with the peculiar configuration of Cook Straits, the times and heights of high and low water vary considerably from those predicted.

Wellington is connected by Government railway services to the Hutt and Wairarapa districts, ninety-four miles opened, and by the connecting link of the private railway owned by the Manawatu Railway Company to Palmerston North (eighty-nine miles), Foxton (104 miles); to the Hawkes Bay district, Napier, 200 miles; to the Rangitikei and Wanganui districts, Wanganui, 151 miles; to the Taranaki district. New Plymouth, 258 miles, and Waitara 254 miles. The railway lines are laid into two large stores owned by the Harbour Board, and also on to a special wharf 630 feet long, known as the Railway Wharf. These stores are fitted with appliances for dumping and storing wool and hemp brought down by rail for shipment, whilst dairy produce is frozen or cooled at private works contiguous to the Board's property, and also served by railway sidings. The railway goods station is in close proximity to the railway wharf, and being placed within half-a-mile of the business centre of the city, Wellington is most favourably situated in respect to its facilities for the shipment of goods by rail up country, or for handling cheaply and rapidly the goods brought down by rail for shipment. In a similar manner Wellington is the central receiving and distributing port for goods arriving from, or despatched to the numerous smaller harbours and coastal stations within twelve to eighteen hours steaming distance, which cannot be served direct by the larger class of vessels, and hence is the headquaters for a number of coastal steamers which trade from it to Napier (203 miles) on the east coast, calling as occasion may demand at some twenty coastal stations; on the east coast of the South Island to Lyttelton (175 miles), calling en route at the township of Kaikoura (ninety-two miles), at Port Robinson (125 miles), the landing place for the Cheviot district, and at some half-dozen other ports of call. Lying on the south side of Cook Strait south-westerly from Wellington (fifty miles) is the town of Blenheim the centre of the flourishing agricultural Wairau district. Blenheim is situated on a branch of the Wairau River only navigable by small steamers, which constantly run to and from Wellington. On the west coast of the North Island there are the ports of Waitara (182 miles), New Plymouth (172 miles), Opunake (137 miles), Patea (120 miles), Wanganui (107 miles), Foxton (eighty-four miles), which are served from Wellington, whilst on the west coast of the South Island there are frequent steam services to Pieton (fifty-three miles), situated on Queen Charlotte Sound, Havelock on Pelorus Sound (eighty-two miles), Nelson (101 miles), Westport (261 miles), Greymouth (324 miles), and Hokitika (344 miles), in addition to casual services to Motueka, Collingwood, Mokohinui, and other smaller coastal landing places. Wellington is the nearest first-class New Zealand port to Sydney (1239 miles), and is therefore the port of arrival and departure for a large number of intercolonial vessels trading with New South Wales. It is the port of call for intercolonial steamers trading with New South Wales via Auckland and the north-about route, and for those trading to Melbourne via the Bluff and the south-about route, and for various steam services on each coast of both islands. From its central position and the large number of steamship services utilising its harbour, enabling passengers and mails to be readily distributed and collected, it is the best first port of call and last port of departure for the direct British and other mail steamers.

The management of the harbour of Wellington remained with the Provincial Government of the district until the abolition of the provinces in 1876, and it was during their management that the first three instalments of the Queen's Wharf were constructed in 1862, 1865, and 1866 respectively. In addition to the Government wharf there existed in these early days several private wharves known by the names of their owners, Brown's, Hunter's, Rhodes', Pearce's and Plimmer's, the latter surviving and being used by small craft so late as 1883. In 1871 the City Council of Wellington bought from the Provincial Government the Queen's Wharf and bonded store, and in 1878 made considerable extensions thereto. Prior to February, 1876, the City Council farmed out the wharf to lessees, but then took the management in their own hands, and acted as wharfingers until the Harbour Board purchased their interest in the wharf.

In 1879 an Act was passed constituting a Harbour Board for the Port of Wellington, which accordingly came into existence in February, 1880, and to the newly-constituted board the General Government handed over, on the 1st of October, 1880, the control of the harbour-master's and pilot and signal services, which they had maintained since the extinction of the provinces, together with the dues collected on vessels using the port, as port charges or for pilotage and harbourmaster's fees. In 1880 the Government, under the powers of a special Act, also handed over to the Board the structure then recently finished and known as the Railway Wharf with a small reclamation forming an approach thereto, and in the following year, 1881, the Board purchased from the City Council the Queen's Wharf and Queen's Bond, taking possession thereof on the 1st of October, 1881, and have continued since that date to act as wharfingers, receiving all cargo from the ships' slings, tallying and giving receipts for it, storing, and either loading it into drays for town delivery, or in the case of transhipments, delivering it to the vessel's side.

The constitution of the Board remains aa originally fixed, at ten members:—The Mayor of Wellington (ex officio), three members appointed bienially by the Government, the remaining six being elective and also holding office for two years. The present Board (1895) are the Mayor (Mr. C. M. Luke); Government appointees, Messrs. E. Pearce, J. H. Heaton, and F. H. Fraser; elected by the ratepayers of the Borough of Wellington, Messrs. John Jack and Harold Beauehamp; by the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Thoa. J. W. Gale, who is chairman; by the payers of dues and shipowners, Captain H. Ecsa; by the Wairarapa Joint County Councils, Mr. Wm. Booth; and by the Hutt County Council, Mr. C. W. Brown.

The Board owes its existence in a large measure to the active part taken by the late Mr. W. H. Levin in promoting the proposal for its constitution; and the Act of incorporation and two subsequent Acts which gave the Board the means of commencing its course of usefulness, were largely due to his exertions as a member of the House of Representatives for Wellington. Mr. Levin was elected the first Chairman of the Board, and that office has been successively, filled by Messrs. Edward Pearce, John Duthie, Henry Hose, William Booth, J. H. Cock, John Jack, and its present occupant; and in addition to the sitting members Messrs. F. A. Krull, J. E. Nathan, S. Lancaster, William Hutchison, P. Coffey, W. R. Williams, W. V. Jackson, George Fisher, W. F. Wheeler, A. W. Brown, John Chew, S. Brown, J. Dransfield, Jas. Petherick, D. Speedy, F. H. D. Bell, and A. de. B. Brandon, have occupied seats.

page 308

The principal officers of the Board are Mr. William Ferguson, M. Inst. C.E., secretary, treasurer, and engineer and Captain John Holliday, the harbourmaster. Captain Holliday has held the position since his appointment by the Provincial Government on the 1st of July, 1860. He is assisted in his department by the chief pilot, Captain H. Johnson, and Pilots Shilling and Henderson. The general management is under the control of Mr. Ferguson, and to him all communications should be addressed. Mr. Ferguson joined the Board in May 1884, and is a graduate in Arts and Engineering of the University of Trinity College, Dublin, and a member of the Institutions of Civil and Mechanical Engineers. He has for an assistant Lieutenant George F. Smith, R. N. The book-keeping is under the control of the accountant and cashier, Mr. H. E. Nicholls, who joined the wharf service in February, 1874, and is assisted by a staff of book-keepers. The wharfinger, Mr. Wm. Prince, joined the wharf staff in February, 1869, and has control of the staff of about 75 permanent employes engaged as tally clerks, storemen, leading hands, etc., as well as of the casual labourers who are employed from day to day or from hour to hour as the exigencies of the trade demand.

Harbour Board Head Office And Queen's Bond.

Harbour Board Head Office And Queen's Bond.

The Board has borrowing powers (which have been exhausted) amounting to £200,000, all the loans maturing on the 28th of February, 1907, and of which £39,000 was raised and the interest is payable locally at five per cent, per annum, and of the balance the interest is payable in London on £61,000 at six per cent., and on £100,000 at four-and-a-half per cent, per annum. A sinking fund amounting to one per cent, per annum is invested in the hands of trustees, and amounted to £22,326 at ihe end of the March quarter, 1895.

The endowments of the Board are very small compared with those of the harbour boards that were constituted at earlier dates. At the same time, from the absence of any necessity for large expenditure on unremunerative works such as breakwaters, artificial channels, or training walls, Wellin; ton does not require the aid from endowments that is necessary to some of the other New Zealand harbours. Apart from the land occupied by the Board for its own premises, which was all reclaimed from the sea, the Board has sections in close proximity to the wharves, amounting to about an acre in area, which cost about four thousand pounds to reclaim, and are now let and producing a rental of £1465 per annum.

As soon as the Board obtained control of the wharves, they commenced a policy of construction and enlargement, which, carried out from time to time, has resulted in their wharf structures, storage, crane, and other accommodation having been kept at all times ample for the rapid increase that has taken place in the trade of the port. A few figures may be quoted to show the growth under the fostering care of the Board : 1882 was the first unbroken year in which the Board had full control of the trade of the port. There then existed berthage accommodation of 4014 feet lineal, having a depth of water often feet and upwards. In 1895 there were 7497 feet lineal. The superficial area of the wharves was then 113,300 square feet, and it is now 307,000 square feet, or more than seven acres of timber structures, together with about one and two-third acres of reclamation either covered with brick buildings or used as approaches thereto. The storage accommedation at the Queen's Wharf in 1882 covered a floor erea of about 19,000 square feet, with a gross capacity of about 198,000 cubic feet; there is now in the Queen's Wharf stores a floor area of 90,500 square feet, and a storage capacity of 1,523,000 cubic feet, of which 19,250 square feet and 420,500 cubic feet respectively are of brick buildings. In addition to wool stores at Waterloo Quay having 49,400 square feet of floor and gallery area, and a cubical content of 936,400 cubic feet. The Queen's Bond, when it came into the Board's possession, was a wooden structure having a floor arca of 13,000 square feet and a capacity of 82,600 cubic feet. The bond built by the Board is of brick, with cellarage for the storage of wine and spirits at a uniform temperature, and has a floor area of 26,000 square feet and 228,800 cubic feet capacity. The Board has also provided cellarage accommodation under its office building for the storage at an equable temperature of dairy produce, with a floor area of 1200 square feet and a storage capacity of 6000 cubic feet. The Board has also provided sundry small works of general importance to the port, including accommodation for boats, and three boat skids and landing stages.

These figures however, scareely show the real increase in the amount of accommodation for berthing vessels that has been provided by the Board, as the water has been materially deepened by dredging, so as to enable much larger vessels to be berthed at the wharves than the natural depth of water permitted. The total expenditure page 309 made by the Board in dredging (all in close proximity to the whalves) has been over £31,000, partly by the employment of a chartered ladder dredge, and partly by the use of two Priestman grab dredges owned by the Board, with the result that whereas in 1882 there was only one berth at which an ocean steamer could lie, there are now seven such berths-three at the Queen's Wharf having not less than twenty-nine feet, one with twenty-six feet and two with twenty-two feet, and a berth at the Railway wharf with twenty-three feet at low water. In addition to these ocean steamer berths, which vary in length from 450 to 522 feet, and are therefore capable of taking the largest class of steamers, the Board has other berths having twenty-two feet depth of water, capable of taking steamers of the class employed in the intercolonial trade and sailing ships. As showing the extent of the wharf accommodation, it may be mentioned that vessels having a gross tonnage exceeding 35,000 tons have been berthed at the same time. The Board has also by dredging and by a reclamation now in progress, prepared for the widening of the Railway Wharf, and the construction of a new wharf, which works, when carried out, will provide berths having railway accommodation with 29 feet of water for three ocean steamers. In 1882 there were practically no conveniences for handling cargo, the only cranes being one of five tone, one of three tons, and three smaller ones, all hand-power with small overhang. Now the Board has, worked by hydraulic power, one forty-ton crane at a berth where there is twenty-two feet of water, one ten-ton crane at a berth where there is twenty-nine feet alongside, and twelve two-ton moveable cranes, all with jibs of variable rake and long enough to plumb the hatchways of the ocean steamers. There are also for ship find other purposes three rotary twelve-cwt. winches, and for loading on the wharf five two-ton cranes, and in the various stores some sixty ten-cwt, jiggers and five ten-cwt. overhead traversers for stacking and loading cargo, and in the bond two forty-cwt. cage hoists, all worked from the Board's hydraulic system. The Board's charges for the use of its hydraulic plant are very moderate, being, including drivers, for two-ton cranes, 3s. 6d. per hour, with a minimum if specially shifted of 14s.; for winches, of 2s. 6d. per hour, with a corresponding minimum of 10s.; for the 10-ton crane, for lifts under three tons, 10s. each, over ten tons 25s. each; and for the forty-ton crane, up to five tons; £2 10s.; five to ten tons, £4; ten to twenty tons, £7; above twenty tons, £13 each lift. In 1882 the wool-dumping plant consisted of two presses worked by a set of pumps driven by a small steam-engine in a shed on the Queen's Wharf. The Board has now seven presses, all connected with their hydraulic system, and they have in contemplation the immediate erection of two more presses.

Wharf Office And Wool Store Builings

Wharf Office And Wool Store Builings

Whilst the Board has made these large extensions, they have at the same time been enabled, largely through the economy of labour and time produced by their hydraulic machinery, to materially reduce their charges. The charge made in 1882 for wharfage and labour for either inward or outward goods was 2s. 6d, per ton, and this charge did not include any storage, or if stored for one night, 3s. 6d. per ton. Now the wharfage and labour charge is, for import goods, 2s. per ton with one night free storage, and for exported goods 1s. per ton, or if the goods are stored for a night, 2s. per ton. Coal was then 1s. 6d., It is now 1s. per ton. On great cattle the charge was 2s. 6d. per beast, and on sheep 3d. in or out. Now the charges are 1s. 6d. on the former, and on the latter 2d. in and 1d, out. Carts and carriages used to be charged, if labour was provided, 7s. 6d. in or out, whilst the charge now is 3s. 6d, inwards and 3s. out. The wharfage on nemp was then 8d. per bale, it is now reduced to the same charge as for wool and skins, 6d. per bale. Coal shipped over side (and the great bulk of coal for steamers' use is so shipped), used to be taxed at 4d. per ton; it is now free, as also is ballast If similarly shipped. The storage on general goods in 1882 was, first night inwards 1s. per ton (now free), and after the first night 2s. rer ton per week, now 1s. per ton per week. Goods requiring examination by H.M. Customs are allowed four days free storage to enable this to be done, and are charged 1s. per ton for labour in opening and closing such goods. Storage on wool and hemp in 1882 was 6d. per bale per week: wool is now charged 3d. per bale per week for the first two weeks, and thereafter 2d. per bale per week, and hemp ia charged 2d. per bale per week, and has the additional privilege of tree storage for the first night in order to give merchants time to examine it before giving orders. The dumping charge for pressing bales of wool or hemp was in 1832 1s. 9d. per bale: this rate has been reduced to 1s. 9d. per bale for hemp and 1s. 3d. per bale for wool. Timber was then charged for wharfage and labour 2s. 3d. per ton of 500 feet super, inwards. It is now charged 1s. 8d. per ton inwards, and 1s. 3d. per ton outwards. Transhipment goods for foreign ports were charged for inward and outward wharfage and page 310
Queen's Wharf From Harbour Board Office

Queen's Wharf From Harbour Board Office

labour, including seven nights free storage, 2s. 6d. per ton, and for New Zealand ports 3s. 6d. per ton. The rates now are, irrespective of destination, 2s. 6d. per ton for general goods, and 2s, per ton for hops, flour, grain, potatoes, salt, and tanner's bark, with the same privileges of labour and storage, and goods la[unclear: n]ded on the wharf for reshipment in the same vessel the same day are charged half rates.

The charges on general goods stored in the Queen's Bond were, in 1882, 2s. 6d. per ton for receiving and delivering, with 1s. per ton per week rental, and these charges are now reduced to 1s. per ton for receiving and delivering, and 6d. per ton per week rent, with correspondingiy low charges for casks and tobacco. Weighbridge charges used to be for four-wheeled vehicles 9d. per load and 6d. for two-wheeled vehicles. The Board, in addition to providing a second bridge, have reduced the charges on all vehicles to 4d, per load, with a discount to purchasers of books of fifty or more tickets making the charge per load 3 1/2d. Water in 1832 used to be charged 10s. to steamers and 16s. to sailing vessels per thousand gallons, whilst it is now charged at the uniform rate of 6s. 3d. per thousand gallons, and 5s. per thousand to men-of-war.

These large reductions in charges could not have been made at the same time that such large extensions to the accommodation of the port were being carried out had it not been for the large expansion in trade that has taken place. In 1882 the arrivals were 1305 steamers of a registerel tonnage of 288,261 tons, and 217 sailing-ships with a tonnage of 67,846 tons, or a. total of 1522 vessels and 356,107 tons. In 1894 the steamers arriving were 2194 in number, with a tonnage of 986,360 tons, sailing ships had dropped to ninety, with 39,648 tons, or a total of 2284 vessels and 1,026,008 tons. These figures are very interesting as showing not only the growth of the Port, but the change which has taken place from sail to steam, and the increase in the size of the vessels employed. In 1882 the average tonnage of the steamers using the port was 221 tons, now grown to 450 tons, more than double, while the sailing ships have increased from an average of 312 tons to 440 tons. The average tonnage of all vessels arriving in 1882 was 234 tons, and in 1894 was 449 tons. It may be of interest to compare these figures with those relating to the United Kingdom, where, in 1891, the average tonnage of the vessels oa the register was 473 1/2 tons, and the average tonnage of vessels arriving at British ports was only 235 tons, showing that in the New Zealand trade there is on an average a larger class of vessels employed than in the Home trade. But the change is more clearly seen by comparing the maximum size of the steamers using the port in the two years. In 1882 there was no direct steam communication with Great Britain; the largest steamer entering the Port had a registered tonnage of 1753 tons., with a length of 320 feet, whilst in 1894 there arrived forty-seven steamers from Great Britain, either direct or by way of other New Zealand ports, with a registered tonnage of 140,730 tons, the largest being the s.s. Gothic, of 4986 tons and a length of 490 feet. page 311
Jervois Quay And Forty-Ton Crane.

Jervois Quay And Forty-Ton Crane.

In the twelve years, whilst the total number of vessels has increased by a half, the total tonnage has increased nearly three times. In 1882 there arrived only one steamer with a tonnage of more than 1200 tons. In 1894 there arrived two hundred and thirty above that tonnage, of which fifty-three were over 2000 tons, twenty-one over 3000 tons, and four over 4000 tons.

In 1882 the tonnage of general goods handled on the wharves as imports or transhipments amounted to 84,261 tons, which had more than doubled in 1894, amounting to 173,128 tons. In 1882 the coal and minerals imported Wellington amounted to 13,718 tons, increased in 1894 to 47,301 tons, an increase of more than three times. The general goods exported over the wharves have also more than doubled from 23,582 tons in 1882 to 49,652 tons in 1894. The wool and hemp, sheep and rabbit-skins, fungus, and other bale goods exported in 1882 amounted to 43,334 bales, which trade has nearly trebled, amounting in 1894 to 115,614 bales, in addition to 5996 bales transhipped overside from ono vessel to another. In 1882 the trade in frozen meat had not commenced. In 1894 there was shipped over the wharves from Wellington 4146 tons, in addition to 3764 tona received overside from freezing hulk, together 7910 tons, or equivalent to about 300,000 sheep. With the growth in the frozen meat trade, the export in tallow and pelts has increased from 466 tona in 1882 to 1338 tons in 1894, and an increasing industry has of late sprung ap in the preparation of refined tallow for use in the manufacture of Oleomargarine—now so largely used as a substitute for butter. The trade in dairy produce was almost nominal in 1882, only eight tons having been exported, whilst by 1894 the export of butter and cheese had grown to 2656 tons. The export of leather and basils has increased from sixty-two tons in 1882 to 235 tona in 1894, In addition to these exports there is shipped from Wellington large quantities of preserved meats (1894, 582 tons), bones and horns, and timber, both in the rough and manufactured into casks and butter-boxes.

The waters of the coasts, and inlets thereof, in, the vicinity of Wellington being well supplied with fish, an industry in frozen and cured flat for export is gradually being built up, a large quantity going to the Australian colonies. Attention ia also being given to oyster culture, a large quantity of spat having been laid down in suitable positions near Wellington.

The port of Wellington is a large coaling station, admirably suited for that purpose by its central position close to the colliery ports, and by its sheltered and good anchorage, enabling vessels to coal rapidly. In order to encourage this trade the Board do not enforce any port charges on a steamer coming into the harbour to coal or take in water, or to refit, unless she should come to a wharf, and, as light charges are not charged by the Government on such steamers, this trade, which was practically non-existent twelve years ago, has grown with considerable magnitude, there having been transhipped in the port from one steamer to another or from hulk to steamer in 1894 over 90,000 tons. In order to facilitate quick despatch of steamers requiring coal, large stocks (seldom falling below 3000 tons, with a maximum of 7600 tons), ara stored in thirteen hulks belonging to four different companies. The best New Zealand coal costs in page 312
Interior Of Wool Shed At Waterloo Quay.

Interior Of Wool Shed At Waterloo Quay.

bunkers from 18s. to 22s. 6d. per ton, according to whether it is transhipped direct from steamers or from hulk.

In 1882 the revenue of the Board was £28,226, whilst the expenditure amounted, to £23,073, and in 1894 the revenue had increased to £53,766, and the expenditure to £42,773, in addition to a contribution of £1925 to the sinking fund. The difference between the receipts and expenditure is spent from time to time in the execution of new works and other improvements eguivalent to or greater than the amount of depreciation which is annually written off, and which in 1894 was £9922, and since the commencement of the Board's operations has amounted to £85,853. After having made this large provision for structural depreciation, the statement of assets and liabilities for 1894 showed the large surplus of £131,164 of assets over liabilities, and that on an extremely low and moderate valuation

Jervois Quay From The Queen's Wharf.

Jervois Quay From The Queen's Wharf.

page 313

In 1882 the amount expended by the Board on salaries and wages was £13,733, and in 1894 this sum had increased to £25,253, in addition to which the Board contributed daring 1894 £280 towards the premiums on life insurance policies of their employes, representing a face value of £14,870. No persons above twenty-one years of age are now allowed to join the Board's service unless they are insured to an amount of not less than one gear's salary, towards which the Board contributes a moiety of the premium. The Board also require its permanent officers outside the office staff, to wear a uniform to which the Board contributes the necessary furnishings.

Since the commencement of the Board in 1880 to the end of 1894 the Board received from revenue £605,642, from loan moneys £201,984 (200,000 nominal), or together £807,626, whilst their expenditure has been on working account £466,743, on capital account £290,442, for sinking fund £15,635, or togethe £772,820, leaving a cash balance in hand on the 1st of January, 1895, of £34,806.

Railway Wharf and Wool Jetty from Harbour Board Office.

Railway Wharf and Wool Jetty from Harbour Board Office.

The policy of the Board has been to try to encourage vessels to call at the port as much as possible, and with this view no charge is made to vessels lying at the wharves until a reasonable number of lay days have expired, varying from three days for 100 tons to fifteen days for 1000 tons of cargo, and one day for each additional 100 tons of cargo discharged, thereafter a charge of three farthings per ton register per day is made, and in estimating lay days Sundays and holidays and day of removal are not counted. Vessels loading are allowed double the time of vessels discharging, in addition to a day for every eighty tons of ballast taken on board. As an illustration of the quick despatch obtained by vessels in Wellington, it may be mentioned that for the past nine years the amount received under this heading has only averaged about £75 per annum. No charge is made to ships based on the tonnage of cargo handled, the wharfage on cargo being collected from the consignees in the ease of inward and from the consignors in the case of outward cargo. Ballast is supplied to loading ships by private enterprise at about 2s. 6d. per ton for clay, and 3s. to 3s. 6d per ton for clay rock, whilst hard blue rock of a quality suitable for use as road metal costs from 6s. per ton upwards. Vessels arriving in ballast have to discharge it on shore, and can obtain for stone suitable for breaking up for road metal a price that will cover all charges and leave a small margin, but sand or clay ballast is not marketable. The Board charge 1s. per ton wharfage on all ballast landed or shipped over the wharves. Port charges are collected on the registered tonnage of vessels arriving, at the rate of 3d. per ton each quarter on vessels engaged in the coastal service, and at the rate of 2d. per ton oa all other vessels not exceeding 6d. in any half-year. Skilled masters of vessels trading regularly in the intercolonial and coastal services receive permits to remove their own vessels to and from the wharves, but vessels in the British and foreign trades are brought to and taken from the wharves under the direction of a member of the harbourmaster's staff, for which removals a charge is made of 1d. per ton each way. Owing to the page 314
Wool Jetty And Wool Stores.

Wool Jetty And Wool Stores.

safety of and easy access to the harbour, pilotage is hardly necessary, and as it is not in any way compulsory, comparatively few vessels avail themselves of the services of the Board's staff. If they do, the charges made are: Sailing ships, inwards 4d. per ton, outwards 3d; steamers, inwards 3d, and outwards 2d, per ton, and where a pilot is taken, the charge covers the corresponding removal to or from the wharf. The Board used to keep a boat's craw, with a whaleboat and two pilots stationed at Worser Bay, but as the service cost considerably more than the benefits or the revenue derived therefrom warranted, the system was replaced by a more efficient steam service worked from the City. Under this arrangement the Board has the services of the two steam tugs, “Duco” and “Mana,” one or other of which is kept with fires banked and ready to take a pilot out to any vessel requiring her services. The residences of the harbourmaster and of two pilots are, with that of the tug-master, connected with the Telephone Exchange, as is also the signal station at Beacon Hill. The Beacon Hill signal station is built on the top of the hill forming the left side of the entrance to the harbour, at an elevation of 433 feet, being situated about a mile N.N.W. of the outer rock, and from it an uninterrupted view is obtained of the sea approaches of the harbour. Watchmen are on duty here day and night, and on the approach of any vessel signalling for a pilot, or likely to texture one, they communicate by telephone to Wellington, and the pilot steamer is at once despatched. The signal for a pilot is the Union Jack at the foremast in the daytime, and a bins light at night. There is also a subsidiary signal station on Mount Victoria (642 feet) adjacent to the City, and within the town belt, where during the daytime vessels arriving are signalled for the convenience of the citizens.

No other charges are leviable upon vessels, but in common with all other New Zealand ports, light dues are payable to the Government. In Wellington thase are—Sailing vessels other than coasters and intercolonial vessels, 6d. per ton register, intercolonial sailing vessels and all steamers except coasters, 4d. per ton; coastal steamers and sailing vessels, 1/2d. per ton register. All foreign-going vessels which have previously called at any other port pay 1/2d. per ton.

Towage is scarcely needed at Wellington, except for sailing vessels entering with strong N.N.W. winds, or desiring to leave when strong southerly winds are blowing. In addition to the large fleet of coastal steamers always plying to and from Wellington, and generally willing to undertake towing, there are the tugs “Duco” (600 i.h.p.) and “Mana” (150 i.h.p.), for which there has been fixed the following maximum scale of charges as approved by the Board:—Towing from sea, 4d. per ton register up to 1200 tons, and above that tonnage 3d, per ton, with a minimum charge of £8; to sea, 2d. per ton register, with a minimum charge of £5. Towage from sea is for a distance not exceeding five miles outside the Heads, and beyond that distance, if employed, an extra charge of £5 per hour may be made until the vessel is within, that limit, For removals within the harbour, a charge of 1d. per ton may be made, with a minimum of £2 10s. The page 315 signal for a tug is the flying of the flag letter “T” at the peak.

It may be interesting for comparison with the other ports to set forth examples of the charges which vessels arriving from British or foreign ports would have to pay when making Wellington the first port of arrival in the Colony. A sailing vessel of 1000 tons register would have to pay compulsorily; light dues, 6d.; port charges, 3d; two removal fees by harbourmaster, 2d. per ton in all 10d. per ton, of £41 13a. 4d, It would probably also be found to be convenient to pay for the use of a tug to assist in removing the vessel between the wharf and the anchorage at 1d. per ton each way, or £8 6s. 8d., which sum, added to the compulsory charges, would raise the total payment to £50. If the master chose to take the services of a pilot, the charge would be a further sum of 3d. inwards and 2d. outwards, or £12 10s. and £8 6s. 8d. respectively. If, on the other hand, he decided to have his vessel towed in from sea, that service would cost him 4d. per ton, or £16 13s. 4d, and similarly for an outward towaga 2d. per ton, or £8 6s, 8d. The compulsory charges on a steamer of 2000 tons in making Wellington its first port of call would be light dues, 4d: port charges, 2d: two removal fees, 2d: or in all 8d. par ton register, or £66 13s. 4d.; whilst if its master took a pilot there would be an additional charge of 2d. for the inward service, and of 1d, or of £8. 6s. 8d. for the outward pilotage. As a matter of fact, during 1894 only one steamer and thirteen sailing ships took pilots inwards, whilst only a single steamer and no sailing vessels took a pilot outwards.

There is in Wellington an astrnomical observatory, and connected by telegraph therewith the Board has erected a time ball on a tower at the foot of the Railway Wharf. This ball falls at noon on days which are duly advertised by the observer, giving the time observed throughout New Zealand, eleven hours thirty minutes Greenwich mean time. There is also plated in the public room of the Telegraph Office, fituated close to the Queen's Wharf, a galvanometer deflecting every hour.

In order to provide for the satisfactory adjustment of ships' compasses, the Board has placed in Evans Bay a dolphin with out lying buoys at which vessels can swing, and have fixed a beacon to the south on high land about two-and-a-quarter miles distant. There are licensed adjustors who undertake to adjust compasses for a small charge.

The Patent Slip, owned by a private company, is situated in Evans Bay, about three miles by road and two-and-a-half miles by water from the Queen's Wharf, and can take veasels up to 2000 tons not exceeding 300 feet in length or having a greater draught forward than sixteen feet when about to he slipped. The ways are laid to a gradient of one in twenty-three, are 1070 feet in length, and have a depth at high water of 32 feet at the outer end. The Slip Company own appliances for repairing both wooden and iron vessels, and have machine tools for effecting the smaller class of repairs to iron vessels, but large repairs have to be sent to the foundries in the City. The Company charges for vessels over 200 tons register 1s. per ton on the gross tonnage for the first day, and 6d per ton per diem thereafter. All ordinary repairs to wooden and iron vessels can be effected in Wellington, and a very large amount of repairing work is done to the mail and cargo ocean steamers, as well as to the local boats, by the various engineering shops, iron and brass foundries.

The Board has not been unmindful of the boating and yachting interests, having provided, at a cost of £500, sites for the boat clubs, on which are erected the boat-houses of the Star and Wellington Boating Clubs, and that of the Wellington. Naval Artillery Volunteers. They also have provided at Waterloo Quay boat-skids and landing-stage for the use of yachtsmen, adjacent to the club-house of the Thorndon Yacht Club, and elsewhere they lease the foreshore at nominal rentals for private boat-sheds, and for the use of boat-builders.

The comfort of the seafaring men visiting the port has been provided for by the erection by the Board on Jervois Quay of a brick building for a Sailors' Best, consisting of a room 44ft. by 20ft., with a room for the superintendent, The “Rest” is managed on
The Queen's Wharf From Wool Jetty.

The Queen's Wharf From Wool Jetty.

page 316 secular lines, and is under the control of a committee, and is entirely supported by voluntary contributions. It is supplied with reading matter, writing material, and games, and is largely made use of by the class for whom it was instituted. The Board have provided on the ground floor-of its head office bailding, a room for the use of the masters and officers of the vessels in port, and in it are posted Government notices to mariners and other matters of interest. The Shipmasters' Association of New Zealand have undertaken to keep the room supplied with newspapers and literature of use and interest to nautical men. In the same building ia provided a waiting room with lavatories for the use of ladies and children awaiting the arrival or departure of steamers, or otherwise having business on the wharves. secular lines, and is under the control of a committee, and is entirely supported by voluntary contributions. It is supplied with reading matter, writing material, and games, and is largely made use of by the class for whom it was instituted. The Board have provided on the ground floor-of its head office bailding, a room for the use of the masters and officers of the vessels in port, and in it are posted Government notices to mariners and other matters of interest. The Shipmasters' Association of New Zealand have undertaken to keep the room supplied with newspapers and literature of use and interest to nautical men. In the same building ia provided a waiting room with lavatories for the use of ladies and children awaiting the arrival or departure of steamers, or otherwise having business on the wharves.