Topic: Aubrey Street (DN 12/02/2011)

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Aubrey Street

For some unknown reason Harcourt Richard Aubrey appears in the record as R H Aubrey soon after his arrival in New Zealand working for the Plymouth Company, but later becomes H R Aubrey.

Aubrey was born in the U K in 1818, the son of a Colonel in the Horse Guards. He came to New Zealand as an assistant surveyor with Frederick Carrington's survey party on the London, arriving at Port Nicholson on 12th December 1840. He was in the party that came to Ngamotu on the Brougham to select a suitable site for New Plymouth. His diary is the most comprehensive record of that journey.

 On their first evening here they stayed on board, anchored off the sugar loaf islands..."our fishing tackle was brought into requisition and a couple of hours enabled us to catch seventy five large snappers, the smallest of which weighs four pounds".

Obviously the fish stocks were in better shape in 1841!

 Later, on a trip up the Waitara River, he waxes lyrical on the Waitara valley and its potential to be the "garden of the Pacific", although the shine was lost a bit when they tried to camp overnight in the bush. They were left sleepless by mosquito and sand-fly bites. The next day he noted that ..."anyone not knowing the circumstances would have thought we were just recovering from an attack of the measles".

 As we know, they determined the layout of New Plymouth and one of the streets now bears his name.

 His stay in the lower North Island was short-lived. In 1848, he was appointed as Sub-collector of Customs and Postmaster at Hokianga and went to Northland.

 By August of that year he had amassed a comprehensive array of Government appointments. He was Resident Magistrate Whangarei; collector of Customs and Emigration Officer, Whangarei and Kaipara; Registration and Returning Officer for the electoral district of Marsden; Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the district of Manaia; Postmaster Whangarei Heads and Immigration Officer for Whangarei and Kaipara.

 In 1873, he picked up the role of Vaccination Inspector for the Manaia District

 He retired in 1880 and died suddenly in Devonport (Auckland) on 1st June 1896.


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Aubrey Street (DN 12/02/2011) by Christine Nana is Copyright Act 1994