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Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


The Petone Wharf.

Throughout its career, the Petone Borough Council has not been unmindful of need for sea communication, and has lost no opportunity of furthering the project of wharf accommodation.
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Spillway of Petone Borough Council Reservoir on Korokoro stream.
(Photo. by C. L. Jackson)

Early in its history, the Gear Meat Company erected a wharf which did most excellent service, being principally used by the Company for the shipment of frozen meat on to the hulk "Jubilee" which was used as a store ship from where the meat was transferred to the ocean liners in Wellington Harbour.
The wharf was frequently used by the boats of Wellington Ferry Company.
In course of time the wharf timbers decayed and the wharf was removed. The Gear Meat Company adopted the practice of railing its meat into Wellington.
Efforts were then made by the Petone Borough Council to have the Wellington Harbour Board's rights to the Petone foreshore below high water-mark transferred to the Petone Borough in order that the Petone Council could erect and control its own wharf accommodation.
The efforts were unsuccessful, and the Petone Council then turned its attention to seeking the best terms possible from the Wellington Harbour Board for the erection of a new wharf.
During 1907 these negotiations continued, the Board stipulating for the handing over to it by the Petone Borough of certain lands at the head of the wharf. The important point in the negotiations was, however, the question of whether the wharf should be a railway wharf. The Petone Council, with a view to the establishing in Petone of a port for certain up-country trade, held out strongly for the provision of a railway wharf but the difficulties were too great for the Council to overcome.
Endeavours were made by the Council to purchase the Hutt Park railway which then ran along the Petone foreshore with a view to making this part a system connected with the wharf— one idea being to extend the railway up Buick Street to the gasworks for the carriage of coal. The move was unsuccessful, and the wharf was finally built without rails, and though it still serves a good purpose, its usefulness is considerably curtailed.
A section of the Petone Council was opposed to coming to an agreement with the Harbour Board, contending that Petone should continue to press for complete control of its own sea frontage.

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