Re-enactment of Hobson landing at Kororareka
Original photo © Russell Museum

Captain William Hobson anchored off Kororareka (Russell) midday on 29 January 1840. He issued an invitation to citizens of the Bay to meet him at Kororareka church in the afternoon of the following day. Going ashore on 30 January he was met by the British resident James Busby and the local missionaries, plus about 300 Pakeha and 100 Maori.

Hobson read his proclamations which extended the boundaries of New South Wales to include New Zealand and his commission as Lieutenant Governor. It also sought to regulate land sales.
A declaration stating the proclamations had been read was signed by Busby, some of the missionaries, the chief Moka and several settlers.

This foundational event in our history was remembered and re-enacted on 29 January 1940. Our photo shows Hobson and fellow naval officers outside the church as he reads his proclamations. It was followed by a service led by Archbishop Averill, and an afternoon hoisting of the first national flag on Maiki. In the evening a ball included coronation of a Carnival Queen and sixteen hundred pounds raised for the Russell Centennial Memorial Fund which was to eventuate in the building that houses our museum and library.