News, Events and Culture

1800 to 1869

Europeans arrive, the Papaioea clearing becomes 'Palmerston', with occupational wars and Government land purchases.


  • Jack Duff, a trader, is possibly the first European to explore the Manawatū Gorge when he traverses it in his whaleboat


  • Papaioea clearing shown to J T Stewart


  • Stephen C Hartley, on a canoe voyage up the Manawatū River, is shown the Papaioea clearing by villagers from the Hokowhitu Pa. The only sign of habitation in the 900 acre clearing is "the crumbling remains of the stockade of the old Papaioea pa which had been built by Rangitāne." (Forbes, 1997)


  • The New Zealand Government begins negotiations to buy land in the Manawatū. There is some dispute between the Rangitāne and Ngati Raukawa iwi as to the rightful ownership of the land, this is resolved in favour of the Rangitāne


  • Papaioea clearing in the Manawatū recommended as a good site for a township


23 July 
  • Rangit āne Iwi sells the 250,000 acre 'Te Ahu-a-Turanga' block to the Government for development purposes for £12,000


  • Palmerston township surveyed (by J T Stewart) and named as part of the Wellington Provincial Council. Palmerston was named after the third Viscount Palmerston (Henry John Temple)


  • Te Peeti Te Awe Awe leads a 100 strong war party fighting alongside Imperial and Colonial troops in Taranaki (1866 & 1868-69)
 25 April
  • First recorded use of the name Palmerston in the report of J T Stewart, surveyor
3 October
  • Palmerston officially comes into existence when Isaac Earl Featherston (superintendant of the Province of Wellington) signs a proclamation defining the boundaries of The Township of Palmerston
  • First sections in new township sold



Most dates are taken from tertiary sources and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Researchers are strongly advised to check specific dates in other sources to confirm accuracy to their own satisfaction. All corrections or additional information and dates gratefully considered - please contact the Ian Matheson City Archives.