The purpose of this article is to survey some of the more significant features of the course of urban development in New Zealand in the nineteenth century. This development differed considerably from that which took place in the Australian colonies. In particular, there did not emerge that large vacuum in the intermediate size range of towns which is to this day so conspicuous a feature of the urban hierarchy in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. Each of the major Australian colonies was founded from a port town that was intended from the outset to be the capital and to which governments committed resources accordingly. This strategy gave those towns a flying start which made it almost impossible thereafter for other towns to have any serious prospect of mounting a challenge to their dominance. 1