The land comprising the Borough of Devonport was part of a
land purchase, made by the Governor, Capt. HOBSON, in 1840/41
about 12 months after the purchase of the City of Auckland. It was
included in a deal that included all land from Rodney in the North
Rangitoto Island was a seperate deal.. It was entered into on the
17th. January, 1854, when the entire Island, of 4,512 acres, with a
height of 854ft., was sold to the Crown for £15. This was signed by
the Owner, Na Nga Tai, and witnessed by John Grant JOHNSON,
Motutapu Island (in the sea called Te Rapu) with Otata, Motuhurakina
and Motukoropapa were sold to James MAXWELL for 10 casks, 4 D.B.
guns, 80 blankets, 1 box cartouch (cartridge?) boxes, 5 hats, 5 pair black
trousers. 5 goen pieces and 5 shawls.
In 1890 an enthusiast had some edible Crabs brought from Fiji and liberated
on Rangitoto.. History does not record what happened to them! Then In 1892
Mr. Jno STUBBS was granted a lease of 5 acres of the Island for 10 years, at
£5 per annum, to establish Salt Works. This venture did not prosper!
In 1896 Mr. T. O'MEAGHER (Tim Doolan), a Solicitor at Paeroa, but
formerly of Auckland, forwarded £1 towards the cost of the Pioneer Track
on Rangitoto - to make the Island more accessible to Citizens.
With the help of a donation from the Government and the Devonport Ferry
Co., the Pioneer Track was opened for use on November 1897.