New Zealand Herald and Auckland Gazette
August 30, 2018
“Yet size is still the key to Auckland. It confers pretensions: the morning paper modestly takes the name of the whole country, wealth seems easier to come by and is certainly more flamboyant. This is a city of self-made men who worship their creator. Its Joneses are more difficult to keep up with. One can only be thankful that Auckland isn’t actually the capital. With this further dignity its in habitants would be insufferable.”- Mitchell (1972)
The New Zealand Herald we have today is picking up the name of Auckland’s first newspaper: New Zealand Herald and Auckland Gazette. This does seem immodest for the newspaper of a single city, as do the Americans calling their own sporting events The World Series or a newspaper The Daily Planet when it’s that of Superman’s adopted city.
We must remember that Auckland was the capital when both Heralds commenced publication. Likewise, Kororareka was the capital city when The New Zealand Advertiser and Bay of Islands Gazette came to be. Earliest of all Kiwi papers, New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator was printed by a colony who considered themselves the first and most capital city in these islands.
Very good news for history researchers this month! New Zealand Herald and Auckland Gazette has been added to the Papers Past online archive. Earlier in August I was trying to prove Captain Symonds was actually eaten by a shark but the newspaper was fragmented between Sir George Grey Special Collections, The National Library of New Zealand, Auckland Museum, and the Hocken Collections! I was waiting to hear back about the missing editions but I guess this digitising is a public response to my private request. Hell, let’s just say the world has me to thank for precipitating this outcome shall we? Immodesty is a theme of this post, after all.
There is still much to learn about the history of this first Auckland newspaper, especially about the circumstances under which is was shut down in April 1842: A year of fire, public hanging, duelling, boredom, and Hobson’s fatal stroke.
Ref. p38, The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise, Mitchell (1972)