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Events In History

11 August 1962

Few ships have had as much impact on New Zealand history as the Aramoana, the country’s first roll-on roll-off ferry, which entered service between Wellington and Picton in 1962.

Marlborough’s second-largest town, Picton has an impressive setting in upper Queen Charlotte Sound, in the inlet known as Picton Harbour. In 1850 the site was bought from Te Āti Awa, who moved to neighbouring Waikawa Bay. In 1859 the province of Marlborough was established, and the provincial council initially sat in Picton. But commercial interests in Blenheim, which was thriving on account of its central location, resulted in the council shifting there in 1865. The railway connected Picton and Blenheim in 1875. Picton’s situation was revolutionised with the introduction of the roll-on, roll-off Cook Strait ferry in 1962.
Meaning of place name
Named by Governor Sir Thomas Gore Browne in October 1859, ten years after the town site had been surveyed, after Sir Thomas Picton. A commander under the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War, Picton achieved fame as the hero of Badajoz; he was killed in the Battle of Waterloo.