Way back in 1839 members of the New Zealand Company arrived in Pito-one, now known as Petone, to purchase land for new English settlers. The New Zealand Company’s first settler ship, the Aurora, arrived at Petone in 1840, marking the founding of the settlement that would become Wellington. The new town was named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington. The Petone Settlers Museum on Petone Beach marks the place where the immigrant boats landed. Read more about the early arrivals here.
The settlers originally sourced water from the nearby Hutt River, but soon became aware of the pure artesian water underground. Since those early days, the underground pressurised water has supplied the inhabitants of the region. These days, out of towners come from far and wide to Petone to fill up containers of this water which is naturally filtered through gravel and sand. Just like us today. As we filled up several large containers from the aptly named “Spring of Life”, car after car pulled up, each with cartons of empty bottles to refill. It is always a very busy place, and we chatted to an Asian gentleman as we both got on with the business of collecting water. The sculpture designed by Louise Purvis represents a water oasis and the taps and drinking fountain supply this untreated artesian water for public use.
We met up with the Asian gent again at the huge Pak’n’Save supermarket. As always, we went in to purchase a couple of items, and came out with all sorts of things we hadn’t planned to buy. But they were all bargains, you can be sure, especially the whole scotch fillet marked down to half price. Workmen and engineers were constructing a huge covered car park in front of the building. It is a massive thing and not what we usually see in front of a supermarket.