Life in Early Poverty Bay
Dependent on Seawise Transport
Dependent on Seawise Transport.
Passenger trade to Gisborne was then entirely by coastal vessels and no journeying was done overland. The Union Shipping Co. maintained a service of four boats from Dunedin—the Wanaka, Rotorua, Taupo, and Hawea—these travelling jointly to Wellington and then separating, two going up the East and the others up the West Coast. The Australan trade was in the hands of a firm, McMickin and Blackwood, who had two boats travelling more or less regularly between Melbourne and New Zealand. Most Australian cargo designed for Gisborne was transhipped at Wellington.
Internal communication in New Zealand, Mr. deLautour related, was not very good. There was no main trunk line in either island. Christ-church was not directly connected with Dunedin and in the North Island the main trunk line had reached only as far as Masterton. The west coast line, now so much used, had not been opened, and there was no line through the Manawatu Gorge. Palmerston North was in existence and had a line running to Foxton, but thence the connection with Wellington was by boat. Gradually, however, the eastern line crept on, first to Woodville and then to Napier. Gisborne, even then, did not benefit much, as communication overland between Gisborne and Napier was impossible except by walking or on horseback. Even railing to Napier was of little use, as the double handling entailed much extra expense. Thus Gisborne, until very recent times, depended almost entirely for communication upon its shipping facilities.