HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The Britomart Precinct was an abundant resource for the Auckland isthmus and many battles were waged for its control. A Maori pa once stood on Britomart Point and overlooked the harbour.

The precinct was the trading heart of the city for much of the last century. It was formed in the 1880s when a large amount of city land was created through major land reclamation.

WHY 'BRITOMART'?

The precinct is named for Britomart Point, which was the original peninsula lying approximately at the junction of Quay Street and Kings Wharf. The Point itself was named for the HMS Britomart.

On 18 September 1840 Captain Hobson and his party from the HMS Britomart landed at Britomart Point, where the British flag was raised and a gun salute fired. The officers were employed on a detailed survey of the Waitemata and it was as part of this survey that the ship's name was bestowed on Britomart Point.

Britomart was the name given to the daughter of King Ryence of Wales. Britomart was the name of one of the Lady Knights of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table. The word Britomart also comes from a mythological Cretan goddess Britomartis.

CHRONOLOGY

1700 - 1800

Maori occupation before reclamation.

1840

Admiralty charter of the Waitemata Harbour.

1840s

Fort Britomart established.

1860s

Britomart Point demolished, filling used to reclaim the Britomart area.

1882

Reclaimed land for sale.

1883

Reclamation completed.

1885

Queen St station open on the Britomart site.

1909

CPO construction starts.

1912

CPO officially opened.

1913

Waterfront strike.

1914

First bus service to CPO.

1920

Prince of Wales visits.

1930

Auckland Railway Station opens on Beach Rd.

1937

Britomart bus terminal opens.

CPO Annexe completed.

1958

Britomart carpark opens.

1959

Harbour Bridge opens.

1973

Britomart underground station proposed.

1976

Britomart underground station cancelled.

Queen St closed between Quay St and Customs St.

1980

Queen Elizabeth Square opens.

1980s

Deregulation of Auckland Harbour Board and Railways Department.

1987

Britomart Development proposed.

Britomart Development cancelled with stock market crash.

1988

CPO closed.

1994

Auckland City purchases all Britomart properties.

1995

Auckland City purchases CPO.

Auckland City proposes the Britomart project.

1997

CPO ground floor opens as Britomart display centre.

1998

Britomart project rethink.

1999

Public consultation.

2000

Rail tunnel completed.

Design competition.

Station resource consent granted.

2001

Stormwater project.

Demolition of CPO Annexe, Britomart bus terminal and carpark.

Britomart funding applications made.

Britomart underground railway station construction begins.

2002

CPO restoration begins.

Queen Elizabeth Square closed.

Footpaths and services construction begins.

2003

Britomart Transport Centre completed.

2004

Britomart properties sold or leased with new urban design guidelines.

For further information visit Britomart