New Zealand’s first customhouse was in Kororāreka, shown here in 1845. The customhouse is one of the three buildings to the left of the stockaded building on the left. The three ships in the foreground are all British – from left the HMS Hazard, the brig Victoria, and Matilda, a London whaler. Duty had to be paid on some of the goods they carried to New Zealand, notably spirits and tobacco. In the first years of the colony, these charges on international freight were a large part of the government’s income.
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